Greetings from paradise destroyed: powerful images from the Hawaiian coastline

Evelyn Rydz (b. 1979, Miami) received an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2005. Rydz explores America's coasts, photographing the manufactured remnants of modern life that wash up on the shoreline. Plastic's resilience is exactly the quality that makes it valuable to us, but what we use, discard, and dump in the sea is useless to marine life. Materials that never decay become a permanent part of the oceanic ecosystem. Nature's attempt to reclaim these cast-offs fascinates Rydz, who draws our attention to their transformation on their long journey along the global ocean current, and to the larger implications of society's everyday actions. This exhibition is the first to include Rydz's bold photographs, which, combined with her delicate drawings, depict these fragments in surprising ways.

Prior to receiving the SMFA’s prestigious Traveling Scholars Fellowship, Rydz’s research focused on the Atlantic. The fellowship presented her with the opportunity to explore the Pacific and see for herself the nexus of marine debris: Kamilo Point, Hawaii. She explains, “I walked for days through massive amounts of debris and plastic sands feeling like an archaeologist excavating the residues of contemporary history.”

 

Above: Evelyn Rydz, Postcards from Kamilo (Coral and Bottle Cap), 2013–14. Pencil and colored pencil on drafting film.

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