Washed-up plastics exhibition 'highlights pollution problem'

One of the installations featuring the collected plastic items Image copyright Diane Watson
Image caption The arrangements are "reminiscent of luxury wallpapers"

Bottle tops, toys and chip forks are among thousands of items which have been fashioned into an exhibition highlighting plastic pollution.

They were gathered by artist Diane Watson during dog walks on Teesside and County Durham beaches.

About 7,000 items were collected over the course of a year.

The exhibition, called There Is No Away, is at Redcar's Palace Arts Gallery until 9 February and then Hartlepool Art Gallery from 23 March.

Image copyright Diane Watson
Image caption The project saw Watson catalogue where and when each of the 7,000 items was found

Ms Watson said: "Walking my dogs every day made me realise how much plastic is discarded but never goes away.

"Programmes such as Blue Planet have brought the world's attention to this issue, but people don't realise this is happening right on our doorstep.

"Rather than leaving it there forever, I thought I would turn it into something beautiful.

"A small plastic item washed up may seemingly have no aesthetic value, but once curated and arranged into repeated kaleidoscopic patterns reminiscent of luxury wallpapers they are transformed."

Blue Planet II, narrated by David Attenborough, was the most-watched TV show of 2017 and highlighted the damaging impact single-use plastic is having on the world's oceans.

Image copyright Diane Watson
Image caption The exhibition in Redcar opened on Saturday

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