Perilous entangleous: fishing tackle

The Total Environment Centre’s public engagement program, HotHouse, is showcasing the life and anti-life aspects of Sydney’s waterways with a major exhibition at One Central Park in Broadway that opens on March 23.

The curator of Waterways, Andrew Tovey, says that few Sydneysiders realise how rapidly the city’s iconic inlets and beaches are being “transformed by synthetic interlopers”, a plastic menace, Phyllum Plastica, that has mutated out of the city’s waste and is inundating watery places.

“It starts in our kitchens, bathrooms, handbags and pockets, and works its way up the food chain through aquatic flora and fauna, and into our supermarkets,” Tovey says.

The exhibition comprises nine works that probe the health and diversity of the local aquatic environment through blending in contributions from scientists at the University of Technology Sydney, community groups and the general public, and the immersive use of sound, light, touch and even smell. It also incorporates crowd-sourced materials such as water samples, litter found by beach clean-up groups and plastics found in Botany Bay.

The exhibition, which runs until April 30, also provides information about pollution solutions.