Artists Jeremy McKane in collaboration with surfer and model Ashley Baxter will feature object sculptures and prints from traveling to the most polluted beach in America, Kamilo Beach, Hawaii. Trying to capture the beauty and fluidity of a woman underwater became difficult when the artist was confronted with floating debris and trash buildup. Instead of pushing it aside, McKane felt compelled to address the bigger issue at hand: global solutions to prevent trash debris in the ocean.
“What is art if it doesn’t move people and make them think,” McKane said. “I should be the one to show the good and the bad of what I’m doing as a collective, compelling people to start a narrative. With ‘FOUND’, the viewer is compelled to think about not just their actions, but the actions of those around us.”
Environmental activism in art was not always the artist's’ vision when he started shooting models in pools and moved to capturing them underwater. The shore break became his muse, with the water, texture and sand creating a variable look that draws the eye in. The project grew legs and transformed into what he calls “LUCiD”, an open-ended odyssey and art piece used to encourage the viewer to think differently about plastics. It is the first of its kind, an art installation enabling the viewer to control it with their mind. If the user is able to create a present and calm state in their mind, they are rewarded with the beauty of a clean ocean, something that can be obtained in the real world.
“We were raised in a culture to be careless without realizing the harm we do to our biosphere,” McKane said. “We use plastic products and throw them away, as if away existed. Protecting our environment changes if you change the way you think.”
“FOUND” is the artist’s way of carrying on what he set out to accomplish with “LUCiD”, while encouraging further conversation on the topic of ocean cleanup. The exhibition showcases interesting trash artifacts as art, confronting the viewer with the issue at hand.
“The ocean is dying and human life can’t survive on our planet with dead oceans,” McKane said. “Most of the air we breathe comes from phytoplankton in the ocean; this is an incredible issue I’m trying to bring to light.”
The exhibition is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 to Saturday, April 23 at the LEVEL GALLERY located at 2722 Logan Logan St., Dallas, TX 75215. A portion of the proceeds will benefit 5 Gyres, a community that fights ocean plastic pollution through education, science and activism. For more information visit www.level-gallery.com.