Last weekend I decided to revisit Hell’s Mouth in North Wales. When I go there I always expect litter on the beach, particularly after any blustery weather, but I have to say I was shocked by the sheer amount of “ghost gear” strewn about this time. Usually when you reach the beach, you have to walk a few yards before you see any litter but this time it greeted me straight away. The brightly coloured clumps of rope and line stood out like a sore thumb.
The idea for this week was to install whatever I could salvage from the beach in an exhibition at Uni – a kind of “work in progress” theme. I had said that I didn’t want to create art from this project, but I wanted to display my materials in a way that I find them on the beach. Unfortunately, our exhibition has been rescheduled due to a double booking but it is something I still plan on testing for the SeaLife exhibition in April.
My work is now all about rope and the damage this type of material causes to marine life when discarded by ships, smaller vessels and fisherman. I think these photos show that it is a real problem, and this is just a small snapshot on quite an isolated beach on the Llyn Peninsula. However, I also saw the other usual offenders too particularly sanitary items and toiletries.
It was a strange feeling leaving the beach that day – I was upset by the amount of litter which had increased so much since my last visit, but also motivated to use this huge new resource of rope that I had collected to show others the problem. I am still focused on my bracelets and have some interesting new colours and widths of rope to use.
I am in the process of washing it all and untangling it which isn’t an easy job. There’s lots of seaweed, thorny twigs, feathers and sheep fur amongst it. If I struggle to untangle it with a large pair of scissors imagine how difficult it must be for a sea creature to break free!