Mother Ocean: Exhibition By Aberdeen Artist Bibo Keeley
A new exhibition of breath-taking contemporary Scottish photography explores our relationship with the ocean and the growing problem of marine pollution.
It highlights how this global problem impacts the environment right here in the N.E. of Scotland. Bibo Keeley’s exhibition takes inspiration from the oceans – and the worrying state they are in.
Bibo gives the background to her work:
An estimated 12.7 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. Plastic does not bio-degrade, so it lingers in the ocean and it is killing animals and plants alike at an alarming rate. The natural order of things is seriously under threat.
The bad news is that our lives are closely connected with that of the ocean. For example: 50% of the oxygen we breathe and which regulates the climate is produced in the sea, mainly by plankton. However, according to The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society the plankton populations have been diminished by 40% since 1950. If the ocean dies, we all die.
Bibo said: ‘I have been visiting Aberdeen beach for about 20 years and I noticed that the amount of litter on the beach is on the increase. I started to document this with photography and I also travelled to other coastlines of Scotland to do the same. I found ocean litter on every single beach, no matter how remote – on the Isle of Lewis, on Skye, at Cape Wrath and on Orkney just to name a few.‘
‘The changes that the oceans make on our coastline are slow and almost imperceptible. In contrast, the negative impact on nature due to man’s interference is evident and happening with increasing speed. We – the population of planet earth – really need to slow down our negative impact on the environment.’
Bibo Keeley’s exhibition also includes:
– An installation of some of the beach litter which the artist collected from Aberdeen’s beaches.
– Videos (produced by artist Brian Keeley) showing Bibo Keeley’s personal connecting with the ocean; singing a love song to a dead seal , singing to a stranded oilrig,
– A video documenting Bibo Keeley’s recent participatory slow walking performance on Aberdeen Beach.
Bibo Keeley’s quote on the slow walking performance:
“When we slow down our breathing and our speed and manage to just be in the present moment, we can experience a shift in awareness – it’s a good way to connect with nature”
For Bibo’s slow walking performance, she was supported by Dr. Amy Bryzgel (art historian, author and senior lecturer in Film and Visual Culture at Aberdeen University) who participated in the walk along with the students of her Performance Art course. Dr. Bryzgel’s next lecture in Performance Art will take place in the exhibition space of Mother Ocean at Seventeen on Tuesday 3 October 2017 at 14.00.
Bibo invited the participants in her recent slow walking performance at Aberdeen Beach to have an inner dialogue with the ocean, or to think of ways in which they could reduce the use of unnecessary plastics in their lives; or to just relish the luxury of being allowed to take the time to slow down.
“Imagine if every one of us felt so connected with the ocean that they made a conscious decision to help to save and restore the ocean”. – Bibo Keeley
Dr. Bryzgel reflected on the performative walk on the gww (The George Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture) website about her experiences.
“it took us 90 minutes to walk what usually would have taken about 1-2 minutes at a normal pace ..… There was something really unifying about doing the performance together. For a brief moment, we became part of a community that shared something very unique.”
The exhibition ‘MOTHER OCEAN’ runs at Aberdeen’s Gallery Seventeen (Lower Gallery) from 3-7 October 2017.
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