Judith Selby Lang & Richard Lang
The Widening Gyre
Playing on the importance of jewelry in all cultures, Judith Selby Lang created this necklace to comment on plastic waste that now fills oceanic gyres on our planet. In oceanography a gyre is a large system of rotating currents. This piece titled Widening Gyre is made from over one hundred small pieces of plastic ensnared in a wrap of brass wire, which is just a tiny fraction of the amount that is swirling now in the North Pacific Gyre, an accumulation of plastic in an area north of Hawaii. Some say that gyre is larger than the size of Texas with 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile.
Judith and her husband Richard Lang photographed the piece to make limited edition prints, which is common in their practice. Since 1999, they have been creating art out of scraps of plastic found on Kehoe Beach in Marin County to bring attention to the environmental impact of single-use plastics. Long time Marin residents, their sculptures, installations, collages, jewelry and archival digital prints produced at Electric Works, the company Richard Lang founded, have garnered international acclaim. Their art has been featured at international symposiums, exhibited in museums from Singapore to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, and collected by such institutions as the Yale University Art Museum and the Oakland Museum of California.