4.3′ x 8.7′
Cone 6 porcelain, glazes, underglazes, acrylic, plastics, fishing wire, metal
‘Blue Fin Tuna’ is a statement about the depletion of a marine food source and the plastic contamination in our food and oceans. The installation comprises hundreds of ceramic plankton sculptures and garbage plastics to form a two-dimensional Blue Fin Tuna, true to size and colour.
The Blue Fin Tuna is overfished, which is acknowledged by hanging the individual components from multiple plastic fishing wires.
Both phyto- and zooplankton sculptures are embodied within the installation as their live counterparts are at the beginning of the aquatic food chain. As nutrients, they will eventually become a part of larger fish species, exemplified by the tuna. The small sculptures in all their diversity are predominantly hand-built in porcelain, and loosely based on online imagery of plankton. They are stained with underglazes, glazed and/or painted with acrylic, yet another plastic material.
The garbage plastics used in the art work were collected from the North Sea beach during a vacation, a hospital lab, the street, and several households for the duration of one year. In that sense, the work is a testament of the types of plastic used in every day life anno 2019: lids and cups, rope, acrylic yarn, cutlery, buttons, beads, toys, straws, clips, fasteners, a dental floss pick, a tooth brush, expired cards, hotel keys, tubes, a loofah, a dryer sheet and a range of packaging materials. Once in the water these objects are broken down to micro- and nano-plastics, which move through the food chain to end up on our plate.
We truly are what we eat.