Artist: Brittany Waters
Media: Mixed Media, Low Fire Ceramics
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
It is Brittany’s last semester here at CSULB and she will be receiving her BFA in Ceramics. She grew up in the Sacramento area and moved to Long Beach for school. She has always been interested in nature, starting from when she was a child. She loved to go on long hikes and explore places outside the city. When she moved to Long Beach, she became fascinated with the beach and all the ecosystems within it. With this exhibit in particular, she showed her interest in sea turtles and conservation. She wants people in the city to realize that we are taking something away from animals when we move into their ecosystems.
The exhibition is very interactive. When you first walk in, you immediately hear the sounds of crashing waves. There are pictures of ceramic sea turtles and their making framed in instagram posts on the wall. Palm trees hang over the wall that separates the walkway from the “beach” There is a miniature beach set up much like a sandbox, with a beach chair and bottles all around. A trail of turtles goes towards the “water” which is represented by a projection of crashing waves that go along with the sound. The artist statement invites the viewer to play around and take pictures, much like an actual beach, but not to disturb the ceramic turtles. Since the turtles are protected by a plastic wall, it seems obvious as not to disturb them.
Her installation was meant to make people aware of the fact that even in Long Beach, we have wildlife that lives on our beaches. Light and noise pollution affects endangered sea turtles that have been seen around the Long Beach/Seal Beach area. Most people do not realize this because they are not seen on the beaches because of all the people and pollution. It doesn’t seem like there is an easy solution to helping these turtles. The first step is to inform people that they are there, and that we need to be aware of all the trash that is left behind as well as our overall effect on the beach’s ecosystem. Waters first became infatuated with sea turtles when she went snorkeling on a family vacation in Hawaii. Seeing them in their nature habitat inspired her and she hopes that changes can be made in the future to protect them.
Synthesis / My Experience
It was interesting for me to see these animals in the prospective of my own home. I have lived in Long Beach my whole life and never even realized that turtles were here. I have seen them in other states, and know that they need to go to the water as hatchlings. Most do not make it to the water, but the way we have trashed Long Beach, none can make it to the water here. Seeing her representation of sea turtles next to trash that you would see on a normal beach here really makes the viewer think. We are not surprised to see trash, but we are suprised to see the sea turtles. This is an absurd thing because it is the turtles home, we are the ones who leave the trash behind even though it is not our home. The sounds of the waves and the projection had a calming effect, and I think it represented what she was trying to say.