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Plastic Invasion: understanding reality through a metaphor

By July 31, 2020August 27th, 2020No Comments
‘Get out of our Home’ animation © William Mobberely

By projecting human characteristics on jellyfish, artist Will Mobberley captures the problem of ocean plastic with his under the sea animation.

To draw attention to the problem of plastic in our oceans, artist and producer William Mobberely used a metaphor to contrast the fluidity of jellyfish with the rigidity of plastic straws – the former reacting with irritation as the latter invades their home.

His computer-generated animation ‘Get out of our Home’ features three anthropomorphic, luminous jellyfish, dodging the plastic straws descending into their environment. The animation was developed for his BA in Fine Art at the Cambridge School of Art, where he participated in the Sustainability Art Prize, organised by the Global Sustainability Institute.

“Of course, in reality jellyfish do not react emotionally nor anticipate movement in the manner shown. The animation depicts them anthropomorphically. The real problem is of microplastics invading organisms, but a metaphor was chosen because it is so instantly understandable for children as well as adults and underlines the inappropriate nature of plastics in a marine environment.”

William Mobberely

 By projecting human characteristics on jellyfish, Will demonstrates both the absurdity and the enormity of the problem. The jellyfish dodging the plastic also alludes to a bigger issue, which is that cleaning plastic waste once it enters the water is a rather complex exercise and sometimes impossible. In the water, plastic degrades, turning into microplastics and even smaller nanoplastics. Most of these minute particles which are too small to be seen with the naked eye, end up being ingested by sea creatures of the deep or settle on the seafloor.

Willam Mobberely is currently studying at the Cambridge School of Art, having worked in Film and TV animation and special effects for 25 years before joining the university. Past projects include work for Ricky Martin, Diana Ross and Jeremy Beadle. He also worked on the James Bond film, “Goldeneye.”