Heather Clydesdale Link Plastic pollution and seabirds

IMAGE: Initial bird model
IMAGE: Improved shape and adding coloured plastic
IMAGE: All completed models back row: kittiwake, tern and gull Front row: shearwater, puffin and albatross
IMAGE: Final piece
IMAGE: Final piece
IMAGE: Final piece
MEDIA: Final piece - video

I’m looking at the effect of plastic pollution on seabirds for this project. Seabirds are often overlooked when it comes to plastic pollution, so I wanted to show how our consumption has an effect on one of the few species that indicates the state of life in land, sea and air.

I used plastic collected from my daily life to make models of different species of seabirds affected by pollution. It was a huge eye opener to see how much plastic I collected in a few days. I’ll definitely be more conscious of it and do better.

I made the birds in different stages of decay to show how our habits affect wildlife, the albatross being the most decayed because they are closest to extinction, as 15 of the 22 albatross species are endangered due to climate change and habitat destruction.

I assembled them together to make a macabre mobile and to show them all flying together in their ghostly shapes.

I think my final piece works well to communicate the effects our consumption has on our planet’s wildlife. The material and shapes make it look like a phantom flock, a stark reminder of what the future will look like if we don’t change our ways.