Faces In Focus is a growing network of photographers, telling the stories that matter to the people who care.
Each week we feature the lives of people connected to charities and organisations around the world. From Syria to Sri Lanka, Colombia to Calais, our work spans an eclectic mix of people and cultures. Through selling prints, direct donations, or signing up to volunteer, we provide a conduit to invest in the futures of those on both sides of the lens.
Everyone has a story, what's yours?
Jo Ruxton is the Co-founder of the Plastic Oceans Foundation and Co-Producer of A Plastic Ocean documentary and Executive Director of Plastic Oceans UK. She’s worked for both the BBC and WWF, and was part of the celebrated Blue Planet team. Over the past 18 years, Jo has been involved in numerous underwater filming projects. She spends much time presenting to students, businesses and the public to ensure that people understand plastic is not and, was never designed to be, disposable.
Jo spoke during Arts For Education in September 2018 on BDG’s opening night panel which discussed ‘Science And Art: Transforming the relationship between humans and the ocean.’
In collaboration with National Rail, Acrylicize have plans for a new public art installation; a full-scale sculptural whale that will tower over Liverpool Street Station’s crowds of commuters and visitors, made solely from sustainable materials.
With our oceans polluted by an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic, and the devastating consequences to ocean life reaching alarming levels, the whale aims to serve as a stark reminder of the problem at hand, and offer a solution.
Following a number of activations that highlight this issue by utilising the ‘plastic soup’ collected from the ocean, they wanted to focus on offering an alternative angle; exploring materials such as aluminium (as used in reusable bottles), glass, and plant waste, to instead use eco-friendly materials to create a striking and memorable installation.
Jasmine is a physicist and painter who sculpts in light, plastic, metal and mineral geoploymers. Using materials, some of which have been discarded, forms inspired by nature, the human condition and scientific and technological evolutions, are melted or reshaped into Quantum Sculptures. Just as the relationship between the observer and the observed is not limited to the Quantum world, Jasmine believes we can improve our relationship with the natural world we are increasingly disconnecting from. As we enter an Anthropocene era, we have the opportunity to live not only more sustainably, but also to achieve the Transcendence which technology could facilitate. Jasmine searches for an 'Ethics of Progress' in which the old harmonises with the new and both, are in resonance with that which is best about humanity; our empathy and compassion.
The Dune Project is a community-based restoration project in Cova do Vapor just a few miles from Lisbon. Aiming to regenerate the dunes on the beautiful coastline of Portugal that has been damaged due to a combination of factors; frequent storms, a lack of care and environmental protection and the global plastic waste crisis.
They have collaborated with local artists who create ocean-inspired artwork, to engage the wider audience on these issues and raise funds for the project. Along with this, they have set up awareness programs to engage the local community on a long-term basis, focusing on the importance of recycling and dune protection. By carrying out frequent beach cleans we can use the collected plastic to build a walkway infrastructure over the dunes helping to reduce erosion, increase biodiversity and natural sea defence. By using ocean plastic to build the walkways The Dune Project will create a full-cycle solution to these issues in Cova do Vapor.
Arts 2 Educate
Abigail founded Arts2Educate in 2016. Combing art, music and drama, Arts2Educate delivers workshops in schools, art centres, libraries, holiday clubs and even shopping centres. Arts2Educate feels passionate about introducing The Arts into as many children’s (and adults) lives as possible.
Arts2Educate is collaborating with Blue.Dot.Generation to educate Primary-aged children on the dangers of plastics in our ocean. They will be delivering a range of workshops in schools prior the festival and during the festival to build children’s awareness of this topic by using music and movement, creating mini plastic sculptures and developing bigger art pieces, all from the plastic that we collect in our homes.
Maria a Spanish artist based in London, who uses installation, sculpture, photography and film to explore close interactions between the human manipulation of the natural world and Nature’s response to these interferences.
From the early stages of her career, Maria’s work has shown strong links with both her childhood fascination for archaeology and oceanography. Her passion for water led her to seek human footprints on all kinds of aquatic environments. In one of her first body of works, she used salt crystals to highlight the problems of human-induced desertification and, in particular, the disappearance of the Aral Sea in Central Asia.
Maria is an artist for Blue Dot Generation. She exhibited ‘Neocide’ at ‘Arts For Education’ and spoke on the panel on opening night alongside Jo Ruxton, Will McCallum and Theo Grainzevelles. We are continuing to collaborate with Maria and look forward to what the future holds.