Subset explore the environment in microscopic detail at latest exhibition

Áine O'Boyle

Subset, the Dublin-based collective of artists, filmakers and designers are currently showcasing their Micro vs. Macro exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). 

The exhibition is taking place until January 26th, 2020 and explores the topic of selective blindness and the impact of human actions have on the environment. 

Subset are an artistic conglomerate consisting of 20 creatives. They are most widely renowned for their murals that are colourfully dotted around Dublin city. However, this is to the dismay of the council, who have hit back at the artists and ordered them to take them down in a number of locations. 

Within this project, the collective have explored several materials in microscopic detail, gaining perspective on the continuous cycle of creation and consumption that exists within society. 

The artists have explored the prominence of microplastics within the world today, with their main goal being to destablise the preconception that humans have control over what we create. 

The exhibition highlights the fact that microplastics have become ingrained in every aspect of the world we live in, with so many billions of shards of microplastics littering our earth, their presence has become intrinsically linked to our relationship with the natural world. 

Humanity will consistantly struggle to understand the presence of microplastics in the world around us, regardless of how this will eventually impact us in the macrosphere of our lives. 

Although plastic is a relatively new feature of modern life, being invented only 112 years ago, it has become highly synonymous with consumer culture and we have become heavily reliant on it as a society, disregarding the impact that it has on the environment around us due to its sheer convenience. 

The collective said: “The extent of the consequences of microplastics is widely unknown. With each technological advancement in pollution detection, our situation seems more and more hopeless.

As this plastic gets smaller it becomes more pervasive and harder to detect. The repercussions are overlooked and now the problem can only be truly understood through a microscope.”

Within the Micro vs. Macro exhibition, the viewer is invited to examine a world of which is at risk of being overlooked. Subset make the viewer aware that plastic will choke the earth if our habits as consumers don’t make a change. 

Áine O’Boyle

Image Credit: Áine O’Boyle