Harena Now is my response to the global sand crisis.
It is, as yet, a lesser known environmental problem – except to those whose lives it is already detrimentally impacting.
I will be focussing on creating work using non-fixed lumen printing, cyanotypes, and sand.
My aim is to spark conversations about how humans use nature to satisfy our own desires, and in this case, how the greed to supply sand for the booming construction industry is not only impacting on natural cycles but those caught up in the sidelines.
Having stumbled across this environmental issue in the summer of 2017 I feel a strong connection to it, perhaps due to my coastal location, and feel bound to help raise awareness.
The Harena Now images meld various sources of inspiration from the passage of time to geology, the microscopic to the vast, anthropocentric to ecocentric ideologies, and the past to the present.
Harena Now has been significantly inspired by, along with others, journalist Vince Beiser, filmmaker Denis Delestrac, sand mining campaigner Kiran Pereira of SandStories.org, and a number of news articles. But it has been the words of the author of Sand: a journey through science and the imagination, Michael Welland, that formed a foundation for this project. The way he explains the life of sand and the stories it can tell us is, without doubt, a wonderful means of education.
And it is worth watching the aforementioned Delestrac’s film Sand Wars to learn more about this issue.
It will open your eyes to the sand crisis the world faces. With comments such as “it’s a killing process for the sake of dollars”, “if you are at sea level every grain of sand matters”, and “the sand is our barricade, and we have to understand that” from a variety of people, their words demonstrate how this issue is one that will not be going away anytime soon.
Along with the impact on people, this crisis is having huge detrimental effects on eco-systems – as humans we can not just consider our own species when we make choices.
Use #HarenaNow to follow progress on social media.
Below is a selection of news articles that have assisted my research: