Earth Day and the Pacific Garbage Patch

I have blogged before about Chris Jordan. I first became familiar with his work at the Houston Center for Photography where we were in a group exhibition about Katrina. Chris was a lawyer and decided to turn his efforts to changing the world thru art. His work is very, very compelling.

Gyre, is an 8′ x 11′ triptych based on the famous Japanese painting, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai. Instead of paint, the colors are composed of 2.4 million pieces of plastic - the estimated number of pounds of plastic that enter the world’s ocean’s every hour! Gyre is named after the Pacific Gyre, a thousand miles wide ocean current which turns clockwise like a giant slow-motion whirlpool and concentrates tons of the world’s trash.

All of the plastic in the image was collected from the Pacific Ocean. The following images are zoomed in to give perspective.

Jordan states on his website, "So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake. "