A 3D design student has taken inspiration from her love of the sea to highlight the issue of pollution with her final year collection.
Hazel MacLennan (23), who is studying at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, has created three separate glassware collections to raise awareness of the main three pollutants which blight oceans: plastic, oil and chemicals.
The former McLaren High School pupil said: “I’ve grown up next to the sea and now living in Aberdeen with its beautiful beaches I have become really interested in the health and significance of our oceans.
“I wanted to do something positive to help raise awareness and protect them. Our oceans are the lifeblood of planet earth. I have put so much research into this project and I am shocked and horrified by some of the statistics I have found.”
Hazel added: “I wanted to there to be a clear and helpful purpose behind my work. All ocean pollution has been created in some way by human input. Within my work I want to highlight the three key polluters in our oceans – plastic, oil and chemical pollution – so I have created three collections of work to indicate each different type of pollutant. I have used different techniques for each collection experimenting with colour, pattern, clarity and shape.
“My aim is to portray the seriousness of ocean and beach pollution, enabling the viewers to reflect upon their own responsibility, a responsibility that we all share. It may not be immediately obvious as to the subject matter of the pieces but I hope that in some way they make someone think twice about the health of our oceans and maybe take some action.”
Throughout the year, Hazel has experimented with a range of techniques such as drop forming, pot melting, mould making, glass casting, glass fusing and core casting. It was important to her to work with materials which do not damage the planet, which influenced her use of glass.
Hazel said: “I am really pleased with how the collections have come together. Glass is a pretty unforgiving material and a material that I have only been working with for just over a year. I am happy with how my work has developed in such a small space of time. I think the pieces portray their pollutants well and get across the subject matter.
“My time at Gray’s has been a rollercoaster. It’s not been easy and I never came here with a plan of what it was I wanted to do but Gray’s has helped me develop my identity within the creative world. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the ceramics and glass department and am so sad to leave but so excited for the next adventure.”
Hazel will see her work go on display as part of the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, which runs from June 18 to 25, before graduating in July.
She then hopes to secure a Graduate in Residence position at the art school to enable her to continue to develop her work.
“If not, I plan to continue what I’m doing and set up a studio hopefully in Aberdeen and develop my glass working skill,” she said. “I would also love to delve deeper into the marine conservation side of things to find out about more things that can be done to protect our fragile environment.”
The Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, which is sponsored by BP for the thirteenth year, runs from June 18 to 25 and will showcase work by students of all disciplines.
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology