Harena Now is my response to the environmental sand crisis.
It is, as yet, a lesser known environmental disaster waiting to happen – except to those whose lives it is already detrimentally impacting.
I will be focussing on creating work using the cyanotype process 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 only earlier this year, I feel a 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 and filmmaker Denis Delestrac. 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. Therefore, I am truly saddened to discover only today (October 20, 2017) via the event page for the Symposium ‘The Abundance and Scarcity of Sand’ taking place next week in Eindhoven that the man behind the book that has taught me so much in such a short time about sand, has died. I can not yet find anymore detail and can only presume his death is recent as a news article in design magazine, Dezeen (published on October 11) states he will be speaking at the event.
It has made me more determined to use this work to help to raise awareness of this topic – although I didn’t know him and never met him, I hope it 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. All original images were scanned and simply auto-toned in Photoshop to provide representation of the impact human ‘interference’ can have on nature. Are they better? Perhaps for some aesthetically they will be, but their purpose was to highlight how human interference for its own ends can drastically influence 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.