I began making this work around the time when changes to carrier bag regulations were introduced in the UK. I saw these new heavy duty carrier bags littering the streets, their folksy slogans and bold colours undermined by their end location.
I felt a sense of anxiety about whether the change was actually helping and started to document them, almost as a way to tidy them up. As I amassed more and more images, I delved into the statistics around the carrier bag change.
I expected something bad; a clear-cut story of waste and damage to our planet. What I actually found was worse, an incredibly confusing story of differing ways of measuring impact and differing opinions on how we need to be better.
I found a microcosm of our complex world, where it’s virtually impossible to make a clear ethical decision. The one thing I did learn in the morass of numbers around types of bags and lifecycle analysis was that the best thing you can do – whatever kind of receptacle you use – is use it more than once. Even if that second use is just as a bin bag.
I’m a Yorkshire-born, London-based artist. My work is inspired by my commitment to freedom, equality and fun. It explores power, urban environments and complexity as a feature of everyday life.