The sea curates orphaned objects and presents them to the shore; a temporary narrative replenished with each changing tide. Like the pottery archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will signify our own throwaway society. What will these discarded fragments say about us?
All of the materials used in Jo Atherton’s work have been found on the tideline. In her weaving, printing and writing, she is inspired by the stories these orphaned objects have to tell. Her work highlights the diversity of plastic items washing ashore and how the ubiquity of this material characterises the geological age of human influence – the Anthropocene.
Artist Jo Atherton has exhibited her work around the UK and beyond, at venues including the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, London Luton Airport and the University of Edinburgh. During 2017, Jo has partnered with the University of Cambridge for their Curious Objects exhibition and Being Human, the National Festival of the Humanities. She is working to deliver creative workshops in schools with The Culture Challenge and is producing a weekend of flotsam weaving activities at the iconic Cutty Sark in Greenwich this September. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and MA in Cultural & Critical Studies, and is currently writing Fifty Things, an anthology of objects collected on the UK coastline.