Flotsam and Jetsam

The Cost of Modern Living

Produced by Bermuda National Gallery in collaboration with Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB) to celebrate the launch of a public consultation process on the proposed ban of single use plastics by the Bermuda government, Flotsam and Jetsam by Meredith Andrews is a stark reminder of the cost of modern living.

In 2020 KBB cleared 22,250 pounds of litter and illegally dumped waste from locations across Bermuda. Much of this was generated on island, where it is estimated that 85% of litter is intentionally discarded. Bermuda also sits within one of the world’s largest oceanic garbage patches, where four major currents in the North Atlantic force marine debris into an accumulation of floating trash the size Texas.

This is made up of a large swathe of harmful micro plastics, as well as larger items such as bottles and discarded fishing gear. KBB have recorded growing numbers of plastic octopus pots reaching our shores all the way from Africa, as well as lobster trap lids from the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard.

Here, Meredith Andrews turns our attention to intrinsic everyday items – a broken hair comb, a lost football and forgotten toys – reminding us of the short life span of these plastic objects and the implications of using them and discarding them.

It is estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up in nature where it will never fully break down. These striking collages, each one made up of items that the artist has collected along Bermuda’s shoreline, create beauty out of chaos and bring to the forefront the ramifications of the 21st century’s throwaway culture.  

This exhibition is sponsored by Zurich Bermuda (a member of the Zurich Insurance Group)        

As part of a fundraising programme, an edition of 20 fine art prints of each artwork, numbered and signed by the artist, are available to purchase. Priced at $250, proceeds will go towards KBB and BNG. Click here to shop.

meredith andrews
Photographs by Brandon Morrison.

Meredith Andrews

Bermudian/American, born 1976

Meredith Andrews is a contemporary portrait, travel and lifestyle photographer. Based in Bermuda, she has travelled the globe for clients including Conde Nast Traveller, The New York Times, Levis and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Alongside her extensive commercial and editorial work, Meredith’s fine art photography has been exhibited in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in London (2009 and 2019), the Portrait of Humanity 2020 and OpenWalls Arles 2020.

Meredith has exhibited in 8 Bermuda Biennials and several of her works are held in the Bermuda National Gallery’s permanent collection. A passionate environmental campaigner, in recent years her focus has shifted from portraiture to the perils of ocean plastics, the awareness of which she raises through her art.

In 2020 Meredith was recognized by Her Majesty, The Queen, in her annual New Year’s Honours List, in which she was awarded the Queen’s Certificate & Badge of Honour for services to the environment.

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