A selection of Work by Rebecca Haigh on Display in The Window
All the objects in my work were gleaned from various beaches around the UK, Ireland,
and the Mediterranean. Undoubtedly some will have been accidentally lost to the sea
hundreds of miles away but others will have been deliberately discarded, or worse
Beaches have always been a great source of treasure for me. After a childhood spent
searching for fossils, I have become a well practiced, if slightly addicted,
But beaches can tell a different story than that of the natural world – sadly, and
increasingly, they are littered with the everyday souvenirs of our lives that bear
witness to our throwaway society.
I am more and more fascinated by the objects I find washed up. Guessing at the
hands that last touched them, and (if they are changed beyond recognition or are
mere fragments of something larger) their former purpose. Every piece has a past
story and journey – some weathered by the sea and melted by the sun, sculpted by
nature into something rather beautiful.
I started by making jewellery from small bits of washed up plastic but as the idea
developed my pockets full of treasures became bulging backpacks after trips to the
seaside. Bringing new life into discarded objects gives me great pleasure but of
course it is also terrifying to see the reality of our plastic problem strewn across our
coastlines. Recent research has suggested that by 2050 there could be more plastic
in the sea than fish.
So although my work is concerned with revealing the unseen intrigueIng beauty of
flotsam and jetsam, I also hope that it will draw attention to the overwhelming scale
of the problem of plastic pollution.