With a preference for underwater photography, it was only a matter of time before Dallas native Jeremy McKane took notice of a crippling disease affecting our oceans — pollution.
“Water does something to us all, it’s an element of freedom,” McKane said. “Being underwater grants us a perspective we aren’t used to seeing.”
McKane has always been the type to invest himself in causes disregarded by others. The photographer was instrumental in the search for and restoring Pegasus, the unofficial symbol of downtown Dallas. The search was exhaustive, but McKane, along with a collection of other dedicated individuals, was willing do whatever it took to find the mythical horse which now overlooks the city again.
“It was a great thing to be a part of — it wasn’t just me though. There was an entire team working on that year long project,” McKane said.
MCKANE FOCUSES PHOTOGRAPHIC TALENTS ON THE OCEANS
Now, McKane is taking his photographic talents outside the DFW area to the immaculate beaches of Hawaii. Working alongside 5Gyres, a nonprofit that searches for solutions for aquatic plastic solutions and regaining a plastic-free ocean, McKane is helping to raise both awareness and the help create the means to rid our oceans of an abhorrent amount of plastic that has accumulated there over the years.
“I was born in 1977 — my whole life has been surrounded by plastic,” the photographer said. He went on to speak of some of the grim consequences that come about from the United States’ devotion to the substance.
“I was born in 1977 — my whole life has been surrounded by plastic.” – Jeremy McKane
“People don’t take into account that plastic is not biodegradable. The very first piece of plastic ever made is still in existence.”
LUCiD, McKane’s latest installation “pushes further to show viewers innovative people around the globe that find new ways to keep trash out of the ocean and how to re-use it,” according to his website.
And taking it even further, McKane created FOUND, a side exhibit that captures images of trash in the ocean.
“The goal for FOUND is to raise awareness that when we think we throw something away, we realize ‘away’ does not exist. These images are sold to raise money for those who are actively removing trash from the ocean,” according to his website.
By taking various items of trash from our oceans, researching their age and origin, and informing the public on the environmental risks associated with unrestricted dumping into the ocean, McKane has created an exhibit that is all at once unique, inspiring, and ominous.
“It has been surprisingly well-received, more so than anticipated,” Brandy Adams of LEVEL Gallery said of FOUND. “Jeremy is a conscious creator. He’s easy to work with, educated, and has done his research.”
A PLATFORM TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
An incubator for the ideas of proven artists — whether their scope is on a local, national or international level — LEVEL is a platform to try something new.
“You’re able to talk to viewers and collectors about the items on display, some of them date back to the ‘70s. I think it stimulates ideas through visibility,” Adams said.
Having recently renewed their professional relationship, Jeremy McKane will be working alongside those at LEVEL Gallery for at least another year.
McKane noted his excitement and said he hopes to make a conscious change to the way the people of Dallas think about conservation.
“If everybody made a small change, we could have a monumental effect,” he said.
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