Our seas are full of plastic. Plastic that has been dumped, or lost in shipping accidents, or washed out of our clothes. Some of that plastic gets washed onto beaches – the rest is slowly falling to the sea floor where it will, over time, create a new sedimentary layer in the Earth’s geological record.
These small sculptures, small enough to be held in the hand, reference that future Anthropocene – or human-made - strata in the Earth’s crust. I encase plastic debris from beaches near my home in clear soap to make imaginary chunks of sedimentary rocks such as might be dug up by geologists in the far future.
Of course, they look nothing like this future geology. For starters you can see through them to find the debris. No digging and sifting required. But, as uncomfortable and scratchy as these soaps might be if you tried to actually use them, they are a “monstrous hybrid” of natural and man-made materials, just as that future rock will be.
And just as all things, including rocks, change over time in response to the presence of air, or water, or heat, so too these Anthropocene Soaps are changing over time. At the time of writing, approximately one year after these photographs were taken, they are developing a white patina that may one day obscure the view of the plastic within.