This project featured in Issue Five: Big Questions
Prudence uses photography as a tool to highlight environmental issues such as climate change and plastic pollution. The project 'Finite' explores the impact of climate change on glaciers and in turn the socio-political world today. It also looks at our throwaway society by personifying plastic bags to communicate the threat they pose to wildlife and our ecosystem. This project hopes to inspire change by creating thought provoking images and raise awareness about the impact of twenty first century consumer lifestyle on our fragile planet and the urgent need for change.
Glaciers are key indicators of climate change so Prudence set out for Iceland to photograph these disappearing forms. Skaftafellsjökull is one of the tongues that stretches from Vatnajökull: the largest glacier In Europe. The brilliant blue ice that can be seen is created through years of condensed snowfall. The compact snow squeezes out air bubbles and creates crystals.
Over the past 10 years Skaftafellsjökull has been receding at an unprecedented rate and may soon vanish, losing a natural beauty and thousands of years of history. This phenomenon is being recorded not only in Iceland but the world over. Not only are we losing natural wonders but more alarmingly as glaciers melt they cause sea levels to rise and the earth to warm. As masses of white land starts to vanish it uncovers a darker surface which absorbs 80% more of the suns heat. The consequences to the disruption we are causing to the ecosystem could be catastrophic and irreversible.
Another human impact that is starting to consume and destroy our planet is our obsession with single use plastic. Since the 1950s to 2018, an estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide, an estimated 9% of that has been recycled. If we continue our lifestyle it is predicted that by 2050 the ratio of plastic to fish will be greater than 1:1.
Plastic pollution adversely affects oceans ecosystem and the natural wildlife. It is also now starting to become part of the food chain. Most of the ocean remains a mystery as 95% is still unexplored. Just imagine what could be living beneath...
Prudence's work was inspired by deep sea animals. This is perhaps a glimpse in to the not so distant future where plastic has become a living creature of the deep. Although plastic pollution and climate change is an increasing risk and at times may seem like an overwhelming problem, it’s not too late to do something. If we all demand change and implement small adjustments to our daily life, we can do our bit to save this beautiful place we call home and prevent further extinction for future wildlife.
“We Do Not Inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children”
- Native American proverb
Photography is a creative tool that I utilise to transform and transpire my ideas in to a solid form; where people can see my world and create their own emotions and opinions on it. It's an opportunity to force the audience to see how I see, to view the world from my perspective. It is also a way of materialising a memory or story and communicating that with the rest of the world just like a writer or journalist may do. I find life behind a camera is a very educational one. I use my camera to find out more about people and the world around me. For example, during my visit to Calais to document the refugee crisis I learnt a lot about peoples suffering but also was inspired by their strength. The reality of the crisis compared with general opinion made me want to challenge preconceived perceptions.
Photography has been around me ever since I was born, I’ve lived with a camera and I understand it like it was a limb. I incorporated it in to my art and also studied it at A-level. I then chose to further my education in photography by doing an Art and Design Foundation Diploma specialising in photography, specifically developing my practice of still life abstract photography. In 2013 I spent two years in a mentorship by creative director Marksteen Adamson. I gained confidence with portraiture and street photography and have since then spent my time practicing story-telling through portraiture, still life and landscape discourse. I have now graduated with a first-class hons degree in photography and feel I have a clear interest in the human condition. Photography enable’s me to articulate my personal feelings, beliefs and values into a visual form that can be communicated to others.