Harena Now is my response to the environmental sand crisis.
It is, as yet, a lesser known environmental problem – except to those whose lives it is already detrimentally impacting.
I will be focussing on creating work using the cyanotype process, non-fixed lumen printing, and sand.
My aim is to spark conversations about how humans use nature to satisfy our own desires, and in this case, how the greed to supply sand for the booming construction industry is not only impacting on natural cycles but those caught up in the sidelines.
Having stumbled across this environmental issue in the summer of 2017 I feel a strong connection to it, perhaps due to my coastal location, and feel bound to help raise awareness.
Harena Now has been significantly inspired by, along with others, journalist Vince Beiser, filmmaker Denis Delestrac and a number of news articles. But it has been the words of the author of Sand: a journey through science and the imagination, Michael Welland, that formed a foundation for this project. The way he explains the life of sand and the stories it can tell us is, without doubt, a wonderful means of education – and has perhaps turned me into a novice arenophile. I was saddened to learn of his death last year.
Although I didn’t know him and never met him, I hope Harena Now is something he would of found intriguing.
Landings: Searching for Meaning exhibition.
As part of my Harena Now work-in-progress, the gallery below shows images for the inaugural Landings: Searching for Meaning international exhibition via Falmouth University that took place in August 2017.
The exhibition had three themes: Who is Responsible; How we Live; and What Defines Us.
My work sat under the theme of Who is Responsible.
In this work, I used the cyanotype process and old black and white photographic paper to create the images, with some original images manipulated in Photoshop to represent the impact human ‘interference’ can have on nature. Does this interference make the images better? Perhaps for some aesthetically they will be, but their purpose is to highlight how human influence for its own ends can drastically change the natural world and its cycles.
An exhibition of my work took place at Hayle Heritage Centre.
In recent years, residents in Hayle fought to stop sand dredging on their local beaches as it was destroying the coastal environments.
They successfully suspended this process in 2010. You can find out more at:
You can read more about where my inspiration for this work comes from at my blog post, Harena Now.
But to discover another of the main reasons why I want to develop Harena Now, simply spare one hour and 15 minutes to watch Sand Wars by Denis Delestrac.
It will open your eyes to the sand crisis the world faces. With comments such as “it’s a killing process for the sake of dollars”, “if you are at sea level every grain of sand matters”, and “the sand is our barricade, and we have to understand that” from a variety of people, their words demonstrate how this issue is one that will not be going away anytime soon.
Use #HarenaNow to follow progress on social media.
News articles that have assisted my research: