St Monica’s Primary School Gallery

In the Autumn Term of 2021, Ffotogallery worked with the children of St. Monica’s Primary School in Cathays, Cardiff, to investigate the effects of pollution on our local beaches in South Wales.

The project was inspired by artist Mike Perry’s work, his exhibition ‘Land/Sea’, and particularly Perry’s ‘Môr Plastig’ body of work, where he took a forensic photographic approach to documenting the plastic pollution that washed up along the Pembrokeshire Coast.

The children followed the same process as Perry: they took a trip to Barry beach to search for beach litter, and brought that rubbish back to school. They then carefully washed and prepared those pieces of rubbish, and finally used a camera on a copy stand to recreate Perry’s objective view with flattened, neutral images.

The project not only provided new experiences and learning about photographic techniques but also made the children consider the effects of pollution on our local beaches and coastline in Wales, some of which are world renowned for their beauty and ‘cleanliness’. Sadly, even here we find the detrimental effects of humans on nature, but we hope that the children could be part of the generation that reverses these causes and, judging by these comments from the children, that could well be the case:

“I think if we hadn’t collected the rubbish from the beaches the rubbish would’ve washed away from the water and animals would want to eat it which is really bad.”

“I can stop using plastic bottles and other stuff that are plastic or if I do I could reuse it.”

“We can try to convince our parents to drive less and recycle more.”

“Reduce the waste we produce.”

The following images are the outcomes of this project, created by the children of St. Monica’s Primary School, Cathays, Cardiff.