Ar­gyll’s ‘as­ton­ish­ing’ ma­rine pol­lu­tion cap­tured on cam­era

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Colin Cameron ed­i­[email protected]­gyll­shiread­ver­

Im­mersed in the fast-mov­ing cos­mopoli­tan world of the London pho­to­graphic scene, it would surely take some­thing spe­cial to draw El­iz­a­beth Pres­land to the chilly west coast of Scot­land in winter.

El­iz­a­beth is pic­ture desk ed­i­tor for The Sun­day Times. Her work has been ex­hib­ited in­ter­na­tion­ally – yet she ven­tured to the frozen north west in De­cem­ber to pur­sue a pas­sion.

She came to Ar­gyll to witness for her­self the im­pact of ma­rine pol­lu­tion and was shocked by what she found.

‘I was drawn to Scot­land af­ter my re­search led me to dis­cover that Scot­land held some of the most re­mote places in the UK to be af­fected by plas­tic pol­lu­tion,’ El­iz­a­beth ex­plained.

‘This is af­fect­ing mi­gra­tory birds, which are in­gest­ing plas­tic and dra­mat­i­cally de­plet­ing in num­bers.

‘I came to Scot­land hav­ing re­searched places of par­tic­u­lar con­cern to visit, how­ever, I was as­ton­ished to find that my re­search was un­nec­es­sary, for on ev­ery loch we tra­versed and ev­ery shore I found plas­tic awaited me at ev­ery turn.

‘In the most re­mote, breath­tak­ing wilder­ness of Scot­land, plas­tic lit­ters the land­scape, be­ing brought in with the tides and mak­ing its way up the lochs, into the streams and across Scot­land’s shores.

‘My project looks to ex­plore hu­mankind’s re­la­tion­ship to waste pol­lu­tion, which is set to be the down­fall of all amidst the dis­trac­tions of bor­ders, mi­gra­tion and na­tion­al­ism.

‘Wa­ter net­works have been tra­di­tional routes of trade, cul­ture and shar­ing for mil­len­nia and are now pol­luted from their mi­cro to their macro ecosys­tems.

‘For me this is a per­ti­nent place to ex­plore how we can ap­proach our re­la­tion­ship to each other and the earth, not through scare­mon­ger­ing but through re­flec­tion on the sys­tems that keep us to­gether and how pol­lu­tion af­fects mankind and the del­i­cate bal­ance of life.’

Plas­tic de­bris at the head of Loch Long near Ar­rochar.

Pol­lu­tion was the at­trac­tion for El­iz­a­beth Pres­land.

Plas­tic tie bind­ing pol­lut­ing the shore of Loch Rid­don, near Colin­traive.

Plas­tic waste in the shadow of 15th cen­tury Cas­tle Lach­lan on the shores of Loch Fyne.

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