Artists’ ‘plastic surgery’ turns older work into new

Scarborough's coastline has inspired new work including Kane Cunningham's Scarborough Harbour
Scarborough's coastline has inspired new work including Kane Cunningham's Scarborough Harbour

The effects that plastic pollution is having on our coastlines is explored in Scarborough Art Gallery’s new art exhibition.

Four artists have been commissioned to create original artworks which are made from and inspired by plastic waste objects found on Scarborough’s seafront.

Scarborough-based artists Kane Cunningham, Rachel Messenger, Justin DL and Janet White have created new pieces based on artworks from the gallery’s permanent collection.

Julie Baxter, venues and volunteer manager, said: “As a society we’re becoming increasingly aware of the damage that plastics cause to the environment.

“With this exhibition we’ve had an opportunity to do something creative and practical to address this.”

Rachel Messenger has chosen Scarborough Lighthouse at Night with Full Moon by Walter Linsley Meegan and Scarborough, Castle Hill and Harbour by Moonlight by Henri Philippe Neumans, which depict the shore at different stages of the evening.

Janet White first saw John Atkinson Grimshaw’s painting Burning Off when she moved to Scarborough in 1986. A flare has been lit for a boat in peril in the South Bay, to guide the crew as they navigate a stormy sea to reach safe harbour. Seeing today’s news as a different kind of flare – a warning that our seas and marine life are in danger, her installation Awash uses manufactured or worked materials gathered from Scarborough shores.

Justin DL’s Moon – Coast - Flotsam/Jetsam (2018) [Series of 6] replaces the image of the sun in Scarborough Castle (A Matchment) with the moon. In the 350 years since the Scarborough Castle scene was painted there has been significant change with human pollution and global warming affecting the coastline and seas.

Kane Cunningham has created Rise and Fall of the Tide in response to the Seascape Collections with particular reference to the work of Henry Barlow Carter.

His work looks back over time, examining the collection and its impact on Scarborough residents against a changing environment.

The exhibition runs from September 15 to January 6.