‘After short, useful lives, discarded plastic bags enter into a perpetual state of retirement, their spent utility a metaphor for our own mortal anxiety, whereas the demise of plastic is a distant, uncertain prospect. The moment of disclosure (cognition) is delayed to induce a sense of disorientation allowing the viewer to disassociate themselves from the dogma of optical faith.’ – Kevin Newark
In his own words, English photographer Kevin Newark describes his photography as resonating ‘around the theme of space, time, anxiety and displacement.’ This concept is reflected in his series ‘Photoplasm’, a collection of photographs of what appears to be plastic carrier bags suspended and floating in complete darkness. The darkness is in fact water, specifically the canals of East London in which Newark found discarded plastic carrier bags floating on and just below the surface. Curator Greg Hobson points out that the plastic bags look almost angelic, ‘like telescopic views of heavenly bodies’ which is quite a contrast to the reality that the discarded bags are contributing to the suffocation of the environment.
(2009) Kevin Newark: Protoplasm [online blog] In: shutterhub.org.uk At: http://shutterhub.org.uk/blog/kevin-newark-protoplasm
(2009) ‘Kevin Newark’s Protoplasm takes the art of plastic bags to Leeds Pavilion’ In: culture24.org.uk [online] At: http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art65276