Halsey Institute: Sea Change – The Tide is High

After grabbing lunch one day, I wandered into the Halsey Institute. I am a junior at the College, this is my first year here in Charleston because I transferred from USC, but it was the first time I had ever been in the Art exhibit. I was honestly just trying to avoid doing homework when I walked in, but I was never expecting the impressive creations that I just so happened to find…

First, I was met with magnificent art created by my peers. As I strolled, I was dumbfounded with how talented some people are and quite envious of their abilities. I briefly daydreamed of being an art major and had a “the grass is greener on the other side” moment, assuming that all art majors do is theraputic coloring and there must not be any papers or studying, but I recognized my ignorance and quickly snapped out of it, especially given my lack of ability. It was a nice thought for a moment.

Second, I found myself walking into this other room off to the side that was being monitored by someone at a desk and thought I must be coming on to something important. Then, beholden right in front of me, and frankly above and all around me was this large intricate, abstract, lightly lit fixture surrounding me. It was instantly soothing. Captivated by its originality, I read the description and found that it was created by Aurora Robson and created out of plastic debris. The title, “The Tide is High.” I thought how could this possibly be considered debris? She clearly did an incredible job making an eyesore into highly celebrated piece of artwork.

After I continued through the exhibit, I started to learn more about the theme encompassing Robson’s work as well as the cause. Robson is a NY based sculptor that explores ecological issues. Her work typically resembles other worldly organisms found in the depths of the sea which is where this “debris” will most likely end up. Her art is aimed at guiding viewers thoughts and ideas on their trash and where it goes in addition to its consequences. I also read that this piece was co-presented by the SC Aquarium and that Robson did a project with College of Charleston students to collect waste on a local beach clean up that will be used to make works of art. What an awesome opportunity! The artsist has another piece called Wave that is presented at the SC Aquarium.

Included in the Halsey Institute Sea Change exhibit were other art works made out of recycled trash or photos that interestling depicted our impact on the planet. Everytime I see something of this nature (no pun intended) I am overcome with feelings of guilt and stress. We all contribute to these issue, keyword: all, and it is near impossible to change that many habitual behaviors. I learned in an intro Public Health class that knowledge alone is not sufficient enough to change behaviors, we have to be motivated, and I am sure a large amout of us are, but these are such complex (wicked) problems – cue the stress – so how do we even begin to solve them? We need a major change in emotions, thought process, and behaviors  in order to rectify or heal the damage we have done to our home. It is safe the exhibit (Sea Change) accomplished their task, at least with me anyway.

Reference: AURORA ROBSON – THE TIDE IS HIGH. (2017, November 01). Retrieved February 07, 2018, from http://halsey.cofc.edu/main-exhibitions/the-tide-is-high/