Teaming up with Trudi

With more marine plastics washing up on our shores each day, we're pleased to announce a new collaboration with environmental artist Trudi Lloyd Williams.
Trudi Lloyd Williams © HIWWT

Trudi Lloyd Williams © HIWWT

The presence of plastics in the marine environment poses a threat to both people and wildlife: animals can become entangled in litter or mistake it for food, and over time larger items break down into microplastics that affect smaller organisms. The full impact of these microplastics on the food chain, including species we catch for food, remains unknown.

So we're delighted to be collaborating with local artist Trudi Lloyd Williams to create a sculpture from plastic marine litter, as part of our National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project Secrets of the Solent.

The planned sculpture will help to tackle the marine plastics problem by removing some of the litter from our local area, as well as encouraging viewers to consider their own plastic use. Trudi has spent over a decade raising awareness about this issue through her sculptures and community engagement, making her an ideal collaborator for the Trust’s work in this area.

To ensure that the sculpture reflects the passion and creativity of our coastal residents, it will be made through a programme of community activities. Trudi has given this initiative the name Spiny Seahorses and Ripping Yarns, to evoke the amazing species found in our waters and the stories told by sailors past and present.

Over the next few months Trudi and the Trust will hold activities in coastal locations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Marine litter will be collected through dedicated beach cleans, and catalogued using citizen science methods. Trudi will then guide the creation of the sculpture in public workshops, before the finished piece is installed at Cumberland House Natural History Museum in Portsmouth.

Plastic litter in our oceans

Plastic litter in our oceans © Shutterstock

Trudi Lloyd Williams said: “Spiny Seahorses and Ripping Yarns will unravel further secrets from the Solent: those hidden in the shallow depths of the seagrass meadows and from our seafaring past. Plastic marine pollution has been the focus of my work for many years and I am looking forward to collaborating with the Wildlife Trust, Portsmouth City Council and the wider community to create a memorable sculpture for participants and visitors. I hope they will both enjoy it and be provoked onto a journey about their own consumption and disposal of plastic.”

Tim Ferrero, Secrets of the Solent Project Manager, said: “We are big fans of Trudi’s work, and admire her longstanding commitment to tackling environmental issues. We hope that local people who share our concerns about marine plastics will help us to make this sculpture as impressive and meaningful as possible.”

Christine Taylor, Natural History Curator at Portsmouth Museums, said: “We are really delighted to host the marine litter sculpture. The sea is on the doorstep of the museum and we hope visitors will make the very visual connection between the sculpture in front of them and where the plastics and other marine litter materials to create it have come from.”