All Images from Andy Hughes
Andy Hughes has lived in Cornwall, surfing headquarters of the UK, so he knows his beaches. And he knows all about the rubbish and jetsam and flotsam that ends up on the coastline.
As a photographer his response to the garbage that appears is to photograph, document and exhibit. As he says "these mass-produced items become aesthetic forms within the open theatre of the beach."
His fascination with the "poetics of seaside trash" began with his involvement with the Surfers Against Sewage, a group of surfing activists in the Cornwall area. They are committed to surfing and cleaning up the sea coast.
His book, Dominant Wave Theory, is a photographic essay on the things that that he found washed up on the Cornwall beach. There are 180 photographs of used, discarded and thrown away objects that have come to rest along the shoreline. It took ten years to make and was inspired by his surfing. According to one critic "Hughes’ striking images offer a poetics of seaside trash; a detritus of a throwaway society amidst the detritus of nature. Across the suite of his images, our attention is drawn, through the large scale and saturated colours, both to the surprising beauty in these different rubbish forms, but also different sand grains upon which this man-made detritus sits."
He says "Many of the plastic items begin their lives serving humankind; they fulfil a multitude of purposes. sometimes carrying out their function in a most beautiful manner. But usually after a short time and after being thrown away they disgust us. This sweet and sour relationship is explored in my photographic work."
If you live in the Virginia, USA, area, he will be having a show at the Mariners' Museum at the end of May, along with Chris Jordan, another artist well-known to TreeHugger who also photographs and documents the garbage of everyday life. Andy Hughes Via : The Times