Cockpit Arts is a London-based business incubator for craftspeople at the start of their careers. At this year’s London Design Fair, they presented the Debris Chair by Carmen V Machado. As part of her MA project at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Carmen created an ocean plastic textile that highlights the problem of over-fishing and the harmful discarded nets that get ingested by marine life. She says:
“The use of many unregulated and invasive practices like trawling, long line fishing and seine nets, not only strip marine organisms of any chance of survival but harm non-target species as well. The actual netting, fishing line, traps and equipment have become another issue through improper discarding which ends up back in the ocean and continues to “ghost fish” and/or be ingested by marine animals and birds.”
Carmen retrieved ghost netting (nets that have been abandoned at sea by fishermen) from the UK coast and the beaches of Puerto Rico, attending beach clean ups with the Marine Conservation Society. She then revitalised the found fragments of ocean plastic textile by turning them into a new fabric, suitable for outdoors.
Laid out into a grid format, the strands of rope look like artefacts displayed in an exhibition case, whilst a unique pattern and colour palette emerges. A beautiful design with a great ethos.
Photos © Carmen V Machado