Mountains Underwater: Scarp aims to put the issue of marine pollution in the spotlight by focusing attention on the plastic debris found on Mol Mor, a large beach on the Isle of Scarp in the Outer Hebrides. The beach is littered with plastic and other materials which have washed ashore over the years, and the inaccessibility of the beach makes the accumulation of junk a difficult problem to deal with. Sadly, this is not a unique case of drifting ocean pollution hitting dry land. Coastal communities world-wide are facing the same challenges, and it is a blatant sign that the plastic problem growing every day in our oceans is one that will not be improved unless there are some huge cultural shifts in how we handle waste, and of course systemic changes that make industrial practices truly sustainable.
Not only does this work tell a story of pollution on a remote Scottish beach, but also considers how a small island can evolve in its role – first as a place of settlement for a crofting community and then as a landscape which, in its precious remoteness, is the antithesis to steadily increasing urban environments.
Mara Marxt Lewis and Tyler Lewis are artists based in Glasgow interested in the complex relationship between humankind and nature, believing that how we engage with the natural environment is at times harmonious and other times oblivious. They present both of these perspectives in installation artworks using found objects, sculpture, and sound to place elements of the natural world in dialogue with those of modern humanity.
Mara and Tyler have been artists in residence in Spain (Centro Negra AADK), Scotland (Common Ground Residency), Germany (Pilotenkueche), Canada (The Banff Centre), United States (Elsewhere Studios) and organised their own residence programme in the Seattle area (With the berries). Their work has been shown at venues in Spain, Scotland, Canada, England, the United States and Germany. Their artwork has been commissioned by Nuit Blanche Calgary (CAN), Lendhauer Klagenfurt (AUT), Marl Media Awards (DE), and Humboldt University Berlin (DE). In 2018 they haven been nominated for the European Sound Art Award in Marl, Germany.
Produced with support from the University of Aberdeen | Presented in association with the Art, Space and Nature Masters programme at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
With many thanks to Donald MacInnes, the MacDonald brothers, Terry Lynch, and Archie