The United Nations predicts that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. We are displacing essential
marine life, which sustains over 500 million people daily, with non-degradable waste, eliminating individual species and entire
ecosystems alike with a permanent plastic stew. As Sylvia Earle notes, “We are the only species that knowingly pollutes its own
food source.” This disturbing reality inspired the exhibit Hybrid Ocean, on exhibit at Wilmington's Expo 216, which imagines the consequences of transforming life in the ocean with consumer plastics—the evolution of strange, synthetic hybrids.
In a series of smaller paintings reminiscent of classic advertising illustrations, Hybrid Ocean explores our seemingly innocuous
relationship with plastic. Set against sunny skies, everyday plastic goods are presented as originally marketed—appealing, refreshing, fun. The devastating impact caused by the thoughtless use and disposal of consumer plastics is explored in the corresponding larger paintings, which depict the chimeras created by our carelessness. Beautiful and completely non-functional, these hybridized creatures are tragic figures whose individual dysfunction embodies the larger dangers faced by the oceans.