Junkhorizons, 2014-2020

Beach Combing In The 21st Century

34 photographs in 3-second loop with audio
Instagram @Junkhorizons

JUNKHORIZONS is a series of photographs and digital animation of objects found while strolling on a beautiful stretch of beach on A.Dh. Dhigurah*, Maldives.

The island boasts one of the most beautiful and longest beaches in the South Ari Atoll (Ari Atolhu Dhekunu - A.Dh.), and the community takes pride in regular beach clean-ups.  Despite the efforts of the community, the beaches are never free from random man-made objects. Scattered among the pieces of dead corals, sea weed and sea shells, a litter of bottles, plastic, sandals, and even pieces of fruit are jarring evidence of human ignorance, complacency and consumerism.

Although signifying destruction and decay, I find these objects strangely beautiful and fascinating. They carry stories about human connection, to one another and to our environment; they tell us about design and technology, and about the forces of nature. A simple walk on the beach has now become an uncomfortable confrontation of human impact on nature. In places like the Maldives - heavily reliant on the tourism industry - these objects tell an even more complex story of a population's struggle to find a balance between the economic system and its impact on the environment.

Should we try to be better humans? Or should we embrace cast-offs from human lives as part of our evolution into nature? I can’t help but wonder what type of beaches future generations will walk upon. 

*A.Dh.Dhigurah is located inside the South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Zone. A hot-spot for whale shark excursions and only a few kilometres from a popular tourist resort, the ocean around Dhigurah gets plenty of sea traffic. Despite the efforts of the community, the beaches are never free from rubbish. A phenomenon unfortunately only too common all over the world. The JUNKHORIZON series was first exhibited at Maldives Coral Festival 2020, K. Thulusdhoo, Maldives, organised by Maldives Coral Institute, represented by Avahteri Gallery, Maldives.Maldives Coral Institute Web: www.maldivescoral.org Insta: @maldivescoralinstituteAvahteri Gallery Web: www.avahteri.gallery Insta: @avahterigalleryThis is an art project by Kareen Adam. Kareen is a Melbourne-based Maldivian artist. Web: www.kareenadam.com Insta: @krunchykareeAudio: Sea Sound Effects via http://www.freesoundslibrary.comLicense: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).