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Photography student from Thurston Community College, near Bury St Edmunds, uses plastic to create installations with environmental message





A student with an interest in climate change has used plastic as part of a photography project to demonstrate the need for change in our single-use society.

Oliver Snow, a Year 13 student at Thurston Community College, near Bury St Edmunds, undertook a series of three installation pieces for his final photography exam.

His interest in climate change and specifically the impact of plastic on the environment has formed the basis for these installations at Felixstowe beach, in Combs Wood, near Stowmarket, and on the school grounds at the Thurston Sixth, Beyton Campus.

Oliver Snow, a Year 13 student at Thurston Community College, hopes his out-of-place positioning of plastic in his pieces will encourage people to 'stop and think' and will lead to a reduction in the use of single-use plastics. Picture: Thurston Community College
Oliver Snow, a Year 13 student at Thurston Community College, hopes his out-of-place positioning of plastic in his pieces will encourage people to 'stop and think' and will lead to a reduction in the use of single-use plastics. Picture: Thurston Community College
The Beyton campus
The Beyton campus
Felixstowe beach
Felixstowe beach

On Felixstowe beach, Oliver positioned a series of pink binbags with the letters SOS (Save Our Seas) stencilled onto them.

In Combs Wood, he decorated and wrapped trees with plastic and stencilled the letters SOT (Save Our Trees) onto the plastic.

Finally, as a part of his end-of-year exhibition, Oliver recreated part of the Combs Wood installation on the school grounds, hanging bottles from trees and wrapping trees in plastic.

SOT (Save Our Trees), Combs Wood
SOT (Save Our Trees), Combs Wood
Combs Wood
Combs Wood

In his exhibition statement, he said: “This project represents the need for change and a new attitude towards plastic use.

“In a current disposable and single use society, plastic items are often seen as temporary, something that we buy and throw away in a matter of hours or days.

“I hope through undertaking these installations, I will play a part in changing people's perspective on plastic. I hope the out-of-place positioning of plastic in my installation pieces, will encourage passers by to stop and think and will lead to a reduction in the use of single use plastics.”

The exhibition, of which there was a private view on June 5 with families, staff and governors and local residents, contained some ‘fantastic’ work across all three subjects of art, textiles and photography, said photography teacher Victoria Spofforth.

By Harriet Owen Stiff, these are a series of generational portraits showing grandmother and mother, and also younger daughters. The idea being to show patterns in families across the generations, with messages that support this. Picture: Thurston Community College
By Harriet Owen Stiff, these are a series of generational portraits showing grandmother and mother, and also younger daughters. The idea being to show patterns in families across the generations, with messages that support this. Picture: Thurston Community College
Josephine Beer’s art textiles piece based on memories of France. Picture: Thurston Community College
Josephine Beer’s art textiles piece based on memories of France. Picture: Thurston Community College
This 3D concrete cast was created by Bethany Campbell. Bethany was lucky enough to go on a school trip to Nepal last year and was fascinated by the architecture, especially the buildings which still show the signs of the 2015 earthquake. She wanted to create work that highlighted this to raise awareness of the conditions that people live in across the world. Picture: Thurston Community College
This 3D concrete cast was created by Bethany Campbell. Bethany was lucky enough to go on a school trip to Nepal last year and was fascinated by the architecture, especially the buildings which still show the signs of the 2015 earthquake. She wanted to create work that highlighted this to raise awareness of the conditions that people live in across the world. Picture: Thurston Community College
Here Harriet Owen-Stiff explores natural forms, observing and exploiting the patterns within them. Picture: Thurston Community College
Here Harriet Owen-Stiff explores natural forms, observing and exploiting the patterns within them. Picture: Thurston Community College
The range of work in the exhibition covers fine art, textiles and photography. Picture: Thurston Community College
The range of work in the exhibition covers fine art, textiles and photography. Picture: Thurston Community College

Gemma Gibson, head of creative arts at Thurston Community College, said: “The range of work this year covers fine art, textiles and photography. There was strong diversity of practice, from painting, printmaking and concrete casting, to fashion and fine art textile pieces.

“Within the photography work both traditional darkroom and digital work has been created. One student also explored film and installation as part of their work.”