Turtle Tangle is a mixed media composition within an infinity light box. The piece is about the plight of sea turtles, and in particular the threats posed by plastics in the ocean. The plastics in the piece were collected on Florida beaches. There is text about sea turtles, and the several issues putting them at risk of extinction, printed around the frame which is not easily visible in photographs; the interior of the piece is most successfully captured in a dark setting. The piece is wired and ready to hang and includes a remote control which can change the LED lights from white to RGB light. The viewer is drawn into the piece as their reflection becomes a part of the imagery- prompting a personal reflection on one's choices and how they affect the environment.
Sea turtles have cruised the world’s oceans for millennia. Of the seven species of sea turtle, five frequent Florida’s waters. All of these are endangered or threatened. Green turtles, a favorite food item of early sailors, were collected in such numbers that they were nearly extinct; however, conservation efforts have allowed the population to recover in recent years. Now, all sea turtles are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Florida Marine Turtle Protection Act.
Many turtles lay their eggs of our beaches; every year scientists catalogue roughly 100,000 nests along our shores. Most nests are Loggerheads and Greens; however, Leatherbacks, and Kemp-Ridley’s also lay on Florida’s beaches. Recently, scientists have discovered that climate change poses a new threat to the turtles: nest temperatures determine the babies’ sex, and rising temperatures is resulting in a disproportionate number of females. Other threats include oil spills, on-going predation by humans and invasive animals, fishing activities which result in accidental capture called “bycatch”, and human activities on the world’s beaches impact nesting sites and limit nesting opportunities.
Among the several threats, plastics and microplastics are perhaps the greatest. Floating plastics are often ingested by turtles; necropsy results indicate that 100% of turtles are affected by microplastics. Ingested plastic persists in their digestive track and weakens the animals by preventing absorption of nutrients. Baby turtles are particularly vulnerable; just a few pieces of plastic (+/- 15) can kill a juvenile. All the plastic items here (except the turtle) were collected on Florida’s beaches.
The consequences of our over consumption are dire; we must act now to mitigate the plague of plastic we have poured into our oceans. We can make a difference. We are stewards of our environment which we share with all the world’s living things. We are not good neighbors when we destroy the habitat and homes of our fellow creatures; moreover, we are poisoning our own environment. Consider how you can reduce your own waste, reuse items whenever possible, and recycle as much as possible. How sad would it be if plastic turtles are the only reminder left of this magnificent and gentle creature?
NOTE: Artwork is a construction within an infinity mirror light box. Photos are taken at a slight angle so that you can see the infinity imagery. There is text handwritten around the frame. The pieces is wired and ready to hang, and includes a remote control for the LED component.
Mixed Media Infinity box including: LED lights, glass, photographs, toy turtle, found objects, seaweed, shells, collected plastics, monofilament, drawing, handwritten text.
Dimensions: 17.75” x 20.75” x 3.25”
Weight: 9.5 lbs.