(NOUN) An·thro·po·cene | \ ˈan(t)-thrə-pə-ˌsēn , an-ˈthrä- \
Relating to the current age or epoch, viewed as the period during which human activity has had the greatest influence on climate and the environment.
the anthropocene project: Est. 2021
In June 2021, EGOSUMART setup the Anthropocene Project, in order to document the effects of the Anthropocene Epoch on British natural environments and landscapes and alert all generations to the widespread damaging consequences of humankind’s actions, via various art forms, including: photography and mixed media, expressionist compositions. EGOSUMART aims to encourage all people to ensure their surrounding, local outside environments remain free from pollution: preserving the world for future generations.
For 3.5 billion years, Planet Earth has been a silent witness to numerous Epochs, the evolution of over 8.7 million species of flora and fauna and an ever changing landscape. Earth has endured ice ages, meteor strikes and natural disasters, but never before has it faced a threat so severe: humanity.
The Abrahamic Religions teach that humanity is a steward of Planet Earth: protecting and preserving the Earth for future generations. 2000 years ago, Augustan Romans worshipped Mother Earth, Tellus, giving thanks in sacrifice for her gift of life and abundance of food. Now, in the 21st century, humanity neglects its duty to the almighty Mother – ushering in the Anthropocene Epoch. Single use plastics and toxic chemicals, plague the ocean: chocking marine life. Forest fires blaze across the world: engulfing the ancient forests of the Amazon. Humanity’s ignorance and inability to view the hellish reality that they have created, without rose tinted spectacles, has left Planet Earth damaged beyond repair: with the habitats of numerous creatures devastated.
No.01 WEMBURY BAY, PLYMOUTH, SOUTH DEVON, UK
Wembury Bay is a unique Devon coastline, protected and conserved by the National Trust: famed for its abundance of diverse wildlife and the iconic Great Mewstone: an igneous island and nature reserve, that has overlooked Wembury Bay for millions of years. Wembury Bay’s dramatic landscape has captured the imagination of many great artists such as Joseph Mallord William Turner, who sketched and painted the Great Mewstone in 1813 and 1823-6. However, whilst Wembury Bay may seem an idyllic, Elysian paradise on the surface, the increased number of tourists visiting coastal towns, cities and beaches in the south west of England, alongside everyday pollution generated by global shipping and fishing and other industries, has had a damaging, detrimental impact on the natural landscape: destroying fragile ecosystems within rockpools and littering the shore with single use waste. EGOSUMART visited Wembury Bay, multiple times, to document and reveal the impact of the Anthropocene on the marine landscape. The full results, as seen below, revealed the horrific truth. Washed up on the shore, the carcass of an Atlantic Dolphin, head severed by a propeller. Sewage pipes jutting out into the ocean: spewing toxic, microplastics and waste into the ocean. Wooden jetties, created from trees, the lungs of the Earth, rotting and abandoned. Forgotten fishing lures and hooks, rusting in rockpools. If we do not act now as one, our oceans and the habitat of millions of species, will soon become a toxic cauldron. Whilst Wembury Bay, may appear as a beautiful, perfect landscape, closer inspection reveals the reality.
No.02 JOYDEN’S WOOD, KENT, UK
Joyden’s Wood is a peaceful, ancient, historic woodland and habitat, rich in flora such as towering Oak, Sweet Chestnut and Beech trees and fauna: Butterflies, Eurasian Sparrowhawks and Kestrels. Over hundreds of years, the trees of Joyden’s Wood have bore witness to the invasions of Romans, Vikings, and Saxons, and the change each civilisation has brought. Now, in the Anthropocene Epoch, the forest is witnessing the greatest of changes: a turning point in the history of Planet Earth. When EGOSUMART visited this woodland environment, they recorded and photographed vast amounts of single-use waste and plastics hidden amongst the undergrowth. Sewage and water filtration pipes, discharging toxic chemicals into the soil. Trees, vandalised and marked for slaughter with acrylic spray paint, by loggers. It was clear to see that the Anthropocene Epoch and activity of humankind, was devastating. Humanity has altered the natural landscape in accordance with its superficial desires: we must now repair the landscape, and reverse the damage, that we as a species, are responsible for.