Marine science meets photography at student exhibition in the Ocean City

Students from the arts and the sciences have joined together to create a photography exhibition exploring the relationship between people and the sea and issues of sustainability in the marine environment. 

‘The Sea & Me’ is a collaboration between Plymouth University undergraduates on its marine science and photography degrees and features a collection of artwork that reflects a broad range of influences, such as architecture, pollution and the natural world. 

The students worked in pairs to research, take and produce the pictures and accompanying text that will be on display to the public at the Plymouth Arts Centre this coming Saturday. 

Heidi Morstang, Lecturer in Photography, in the School of Art and Media, said: 

“We wanted to create a collaborative teaching and learning project that brought together two different disciplines in science and art to explore issues related to sustainability. The dynamic between the marine science and photography students has worked very well, enabling the students to undertake lots of outdoor learning opportunities while exploring the theme of sustainability.”

Twenty students took part in the project, which involved working in pairs with a member of each collaborating degree. Together they embarked on a number of field trips related to the sea, from some of the technological centres of the Plymouth marine community, such as the National Marine Aquarium and the wave tanks and ship simulator within the University’s Marine Building, to the stunning scenery of Plymouth Sound and Mount Batten.

Eliza Naish, BA (Hons) Photography, said: 

“Taking part in ‘The Sea and Me’ project was an exciting way of merging scientific data and art, something that very rarely happens between the two subject areas. It enabled us to work alongside a faculty that we, as photographers, would not have necessarily crossed during our education, and to engage with data, statistics and other factual insights that the marine students were used to working with.”

Professor Martin Attrill, Director of the Marine Institute, will present a prize to one of the pairs on the evening of the exhibition – being held on 21 May between 3-5pm at the Plymouth Arts Centre.

“It is clear that there is a terrific variety in the finished pictures,” added Dr Simon Ingram, Lecturer in Marine Conservation, within the School of Biological and Marine Sciences. “It has been fascinating to observe these pictures coming to life from the sharing of different perspectives and work practices.”

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