January Plastics, Diane Watson
The Latest Edition project with Navigator North has acted as a springboard for my further development as an artist. Following the launch exhibition at Festival of Thrift, I entered my work ‘A Drop in the Ocean’ into The Universal Sea: Pure or Plastic?!, a EU-funded project which links scientific findings with artistic creations offering a new perspective on this urgent topic. The exhibition was a worldwide open call and although I did not make the final five for the Europe wide tour, my work was selected as one of the top 100 proposals. These are on display at, The Centre for Polish Sculpture in Oronsko, Poland from April.
Tampax Necklace, Diane Watson. Photo Credit Howard White
I also had work selected for Empowerment exhibition organised by Creative Debuts and Nasty Women.
The exhibition launched on International Women’s Day and attracted thousands of visitors to the Black and White gallery in Shoreditch with lots of excellent press coverage, including my own work being featured in Notion Magazine and the Evening Standard.
The exhibition featured a new work, highlighting the amount of plastic tampon applicators that I find washed ashore on the north east coast. This work also attracted interest from Northumbria Water who invited me for a visit around the pump station in Seaton Carew, to see what they are doing to tackle this problem. This visit was featured in local media and led to me being interviewed live on BBC Radio Newcastle about my work.
I am currently working with Hartlepool Families First hosting art workshops with a group of children with learning difficulties on a project to celebrate the coast. Together we are creating a range of textile prints to decorate the newly refurbished education room at Café 177 in Hartlepool.
I was also invited to give a talk about my work and environmental issues at Hartlepool College of FE to groups of students working on environmental projects.
Tampax Pattern, Diane Watson
I am working on a new body of work which methodically records and curates all the items I collect from the beach. The result will be a print being produced at the end of each month comprising all the pieces found and collected during the preceding weeks. I started this new work on New Year’s Day and so far have collected more than 1300 pieces of plastic, including some items which have been in the sea for decades. Some of the most interesting finds have been blocks of wood released from northern Germany as part of a scientific research project from the University of Oldenburg to measure the extent of ocean plastics. I am hoping to exhibit this new body of work in January next year once I have collected and recorded an entire year’s collection of plastic.