Skye artist makes the most of the islands natural and unnatural resources

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Multimedia artist Gail McGregor has been utilising her surroundings on Skye to explore the effects of human begins on the oceans and nature through her sculpture Climate Change – The Plastic Age.

Sunset on a Plastic Beach will also be part of the Cop-26 Art Fringe -Glasgow from the 31st October to the 31st of November.

Gail is a passionate mixed media artist whose work ranges from textiles and handmade paper to weaving, painting and sculpture.

She told us: ‘My work is inspired by the dramatic landscape of Skye, its seasonal changes, the flora and fauna and the objects I find on coastal and woodland walks.

‘Skye has an awe inspiring and fascinating landscape, with ever changing light and cloud formations, from its dramatic coastline to the infamous Cuillin mountain range.

‘Every season brings something different and special. I love the crystal clear night skies of winter, the mist and har drifting around the mountain peaks; the waterfalls that appear after heavy rain. I am inspired by the breathtaking unforgettable sunrise and sunsets; the almost daily rainbows and the occasional glimpse of the aurora.’

Drawing upon the island’s landscape, Gail utilises found objects, both natural and manmade, that she collects on her walks. This latest sculpture conveys the depletion of natural resources, consumerism, and pollution’s toll on the environment. It depicts society’s discarded plastic entwined with shells and seaweed representing the insidious destruction of the environment we live in, as well as the corruption of its beauty.

‘I wanted to convey how our shorelines are becoming more like rubbish dumps,’ explained the artist.

‘This work, a large piece of driftwood with weaving, shells, seaweed and discarded marine litter, is divided into four sections.

‘The first section celebrates the beauty of our shorelines with an abundance of shells, coral, bones, seaweed and interesting rocks and driftwood.

‘The second section, which is its largest, shows the devastating impact that plastic pollution has on our environment, marine life and health. A reoccurring theme throughout my work.

‘The third section represents humanity’s race to save the planet, and the fourth and final section hopes for and anticipates a life without plastic, with nature able to regain control.

‘I hope within my lifetime that our beaches will return to their natural beauty. Don’t we want to see our beaches return to being something beautiful?’

The sculpture has already been on display at Gail’s marine waste art exhibition, in the Steadings Gallery in Kyle. Climate Change – The Plastic Age will then continue on tour to the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine (October 12-January 12); the Mitchell Library, Glasgow (January 12-April 12) and then to the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage, Oban (April 12-July 12).