Ocean debris turned into art at ArtGeo

After two years of monitoring and picking up ocean debris, artist Roslyn Towers has turned rubbish into art for her latest exhibition Tide n Tied.

"I was not looking at my project from an artist's perspective, rather a good idea that was a simple and effective way of shocking people in comprehending the scope and severity of our marine debris problem," she said.

After the first winter storm in 2019, Ms Towers could see shorebirds picking at the soft plastics that had been washed up.

She said it was a pivotal moment for her in which she started to take the issue more seriously.

Ms Towers began helping Tangaroa Blue by photographing, weighing and recording the debris along Busselton beaches.

"An astonishing amount of drop nets wash up during winter amongst a vast array of ocean debris," she said.

"Initially my whole intention was to demonstrate the types of ocean debris found along our beaches using the drop net as the base for each category.

"All the debris found is disturbing as it has a negative impact in some form or another on our marine/wildlife.

"Single use plastics are considered a great convenience by people around the world, however they make up a great deal of ocean debris that are floating in our ocean, eventually breaking down into microparticles which affects the entire marine ecosystems."

Some of the more unusual items Ms Towers found included a chocolate wrapper which had a best before date of September 25, 1987, a molotov cocktail and plastic pellets called nurdles.

Ms Towers hopes the exhibition will push people to realise the impact plastic and waste has on the environment.

"Find better solutions by giving up plastic bags, straws, plastic bottles, avoid plastic packaging, recycle what you can and don't litter," she said.

The exhibition will be showing in the Ballaraat Room at ArtGeo until July 18.