Featured Artist – Sarah Jane Thornington
Gallery Now Open for In-Person Visits!
Sarah is passionate about this beautiful planet of ours. Picking up trash and doing beach cleanups have been a constant in her life. Last year, Sarah started thinking about the sheer quantity of marine debris she was collecting, and then either recycling or discarding. In February of last year, she realized she needed to start documenting her finds. Sarah decided to do a beach or litter pick up every day for a year, and pick up at least 5 pieces of plastic each day. She was aiming for 1,825 pieces of plastic for the year. After 3 weeks, she’d surpassed that goal, and realized how crucial awareness of the marine litter issue was. She counted every piece of plastic she picked up, and sends in data on her finds to various worldwide organizations on a regular basis. Much of the plastic she cleans and sorts , then photographs and creates with it. After 1 year, Sarah picked up over 20,000 pieces of plastic. This show is a result of the finds from that year, February 2019 – February 2020.
Climate change and plastic pollution go hand in hand, and the only way forward is not through recycling; but by reducing, or stopping, our single use plastic habit. We need to reuse, refuse, repurpose, repair, and flat out stop buying things we don’t need, or things that are only going to be used for minutes and then thrown away. The world is litter-ally depending on us making a change. Every single one of us.
This show is entitled ‘The Tide Falls.’ It is a line in a Longfellow poem entitled ‘The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls’ and I chose it because the sea is eternal, but we humans are only here for a short time, and we need to be better stewards while we are journeying through our lives.
Follow the documentation and continuation of that year long journey at @AYearofPlastic on Instagram.
Sarah Jane Thornington has lived and created on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. She is the owner and photographer at The Studio by the Sea, a portrait studio, in Hyannis. She has been photographing families, high school seniors and school photos for the last two decades, and loves sharing in the lives of the families she meets.
She loves to create, of course using photography, but also alternative photographic processes such as cyanotypes. Sarah loves to try new things, has braided rugs for her stairs from old suit coats, skirts and wool blankets, weaves bowls from the ghost net
fishing gear she finds, started rust printing with objects she finds at the beach during her clean ups, and is always experimenting with the plastics she finds; from mono-printing to mosaic-ing.
The ‘A Year of Plastic’ project often feels like an old Victorian naturalist’s collection to her, and she enjoys exploring that theme, often including natural and (un)natural objects together in her images. Sarah is fascinated by the power of the sea, and often shows the degradation being in the ocean causes to the plastics.
She shares her life and home, with her husband, Ray, who after 30 years can still make her laugh so hard she can’t breathe, her lovely daughter, Adriana, who has changed the family dynamic by going off to college, and a crazy, black Lab named Lucy who will soon be celebrating her 14th birthday. Sarah is a believer in the power of positivity, and tries to spread awareness of such a tragic problem in a fun and creative way.
Sarah Jane Thornington
The recently renovated Library Gallery offers a beautiful space with lighting to highlight any work of art. Art is displayed on a monthly basis, and artists must apply for consideration.
Click here for Gallery submission guidelines.