I’ve started to create a series of works based on my disturbing realization that all of my plankton samples contain tiny UV-degraded plastics from water bodies around the world, some very remote. The first of this series was collected in February-March 2011 off the coast of Chile aboard Tara Oceans. The first of the La Boheme series is based on Tintinnids found in the deep sea off the coast of Chile. I am calling the piece La Boheme because like the opera it is about falling in love with something–in this case, the ocean–which you know may be sick or dying. The result is a series that resembles surreal beings from an alternate universe but is in fact depictions of oceanic plankton entwined with plastic.  The conclusion is a new awareness about our fate is intimately linked with that of our oceans.

This photograph was taken on board Tara Oceans. To me, these Tintinnids look like beautiful champagne glasses.

Posing as “La Boheme,” in this case the internal structure of a Chilean Tintinnid in a toxic ocean.

Original working drawing for La Boheme, in this case Tintinnids ensnared in a ribbon of UV-degraded plastic.

zp8497586rq