PHOTOGRAPHY

The Little Things are Giant

A photoseries on microplastic pollution

Growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, much of my entertainment revolved around the woods. Elementary school days were spent in the treehouse, or hiding behind a tree during a game of hide-and-seek. As I grew older, I moved past the forestry of my own neighborhood and started hiking in other, slightly more distant forests. This personal connection to trees, along with the goal of raising awareness of terrestrial plastic pollution, are the leading sources of inspiration for The Little Things are Giant, a photographic series.

 

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, microplastic pollution is estimated to be 4 to 23 times higher in soil than it is in oceans. Yet, much of the media attention surrounding plastic pollution features imagery of disturbed marine life, with sea turtles and seagulls choking on the plastic can rings stuck around their necks. On the other hand, the infiltration of microplastics is largely invisible to the eye. These tiny pieces of plastic are carried through waterways, eventually making their way into our oceans and especially our soil. The Little Things are Giant is a photographic series that aims to make the invisible visible through its depiction of an upcycled plastic tree sculpture amidst a natural forest.

 

Following the upcycling movement, the sculpture makes use of heating techniques to transform plastic waste material. The tree is crafted from a wood and wire underframe and shaped by heating and molding collected single-use plastic bags. By transforming objects that were once considered trash into sculpting material, this sculpture shows the value of upcycling.

 

By focusing on trees as a subject, The Little Things are Giant draws attention to an environmental issue that is relevant to all of our lives, and one that is imperative to find solutions for.

Photographs of People Taking Photographs

A street photography series in Florence, Italy