I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.
Curator Jane Withers’ exhibition is bringing awareness to what’s going on in our oceans.
This year is the fifth iteration of Selfridges’ Project Ocean, an exhibition aiming to expand public understanding of plastic pollution in our oceans. Greeting visitors at the entrance, ‘Flotsam’, an undulating installation by How About Studio uses 5,000 plastic bottles, approximately the amount used in the UK in under 15 seconds.
The exhibition also includes ‘Gyrecraft’ by Studio Swine and Andrew Friend, a collection of five objects crafted from plastic retrieved from the gyres where it accumulates. The Water Bar, a collaboration between Withers and Arabeschi di Latte, serves visitors with water treated with charcoal, minerals and herbs – encouraging them to imagine life without the plastic bottle.
Studio Swine’s Indian Ocean piece is based on a shipping container, as 10,000 of these large metal crates are lost in the ocean each year, according to the designers.
For their representation of the North Atlanic Gyre, Studio Swine were influenced by the traditional local Scrimshaw craft of engraving practised by whalers.
Previously, Withers has curated shows at the V&A and the Royal Academy highlighting environmental issues, and describes her obsession with water as ‘hydrophilic’. She also works as a design consultant and is co-founder of Wonderwater, an initiative developing projects around the world aimed at raising awareness of global water issues.
Italian studio Arabeschi di Latte and curator Jane Withers installed the bar at London’s Selfridges that aimed to make visitors “imagine life without the plastic water bottle“.