Sue Beach


Artist in Residence Edinburgh Zoo 1997. Solo shows Green Gallery: Out of Africa 1996 and Desert Song 1998. Exhibited at PAI, RGI, RSW and VAS. Recently returned to full time drawing and painting.
“Albatross, then and now”
The ‘then’ refers to Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner (1798) in which the albatross symbolises the innocence of nature and the story acted as warning of the harm we do ourselves if we harm nature. The ‘now’ refers to 2021, albatrosses are still warning us of the harm we are doing to nature and ourselves.
The drawing is framed by albatrosses gliding across the ocean and by words written in ink and feather quill as a reference to 223 year old poem, written over in 2021 biro. The words fade in and out and explain why the albatross is being killed by plastic. At the base is a tribute to the 2 girls that persuaded the CEOs of Burger King and McDonalds to stop giving plastic toys with meals.
These frame a dead albatross, drawn in graphite pencil to represent the delicate beauty of the wave-washed dried skeleton within which nests a garish pile of plastic drawn in felt tip and wax crayon. Here we find Lego pieces, a birthday cake candle holder, plastic numbers (that spell out 2021) and the nemo dummy and McDonalds penguin toy refer to the ocean amongst the other toys, plastic caps and fragments.
An artist’s statement to the UN Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, 1-12 November, 2021.