Yesterday, Today, The Future... by Carolyn Stubbs
How the Collages are created:

'Yesterday, Today, the Future…' began as an alternative and unique way in which to raise public awareness of important environmental issues.

Each piece is made up of literally thousands of individual pieces of recycled paper. However, at first appearance, the images appear to be paintings and it is not until very close inspection that one can see they are not. Carolyn used literally thousands of individual slivers of recycled paper, cut and shaped to build a montage of images, the majority of them very fine and detailed in nature.

Paper was selected from used magazines, newspapers, trade publications etc, keeping colours, shades and typeface sizes in 'family groups' to maintain a unity which enhances the overall impact and appearance of the design. To preserve their delicate structure, all images have been coated with varnish, though, for our virtual representations, this is probably unnecessary!

About the three main panels:

Carolyn provides the following brief descriptions of the three panels (click on the Yesterday, Today or The Future... links for details about each individual piece:

This collage of different images reflects some of the past environmental problems that were evident in the post industrial revolution period.

A portrayal of some of the environmental pollutants and threats to our oceans and countryside that are occurring today.

The Future...
The largest of the three art pieces, a disturbing, yet alarmingly feasible vision of the potential consequences of our continued misuse of the planet.

About the individual pieces:
Coal pit / coal miner Coal fuelled Britain's Industrial Revolution, however, both the mining and the burning of coal caused immense environmental damage such as unsightly slag heaps, long-burning mine fires and subsidence.

Underground coal mining was among the most hazardous of industrial occupations with large numbers of fatalities. Explosions were caused by the presence of coal dust and methane gas.
Click to view close-up
Old street scene This depicts the widespread use of coal, used primarily in industry and domestic homes, following the Industrial Revolution which began in the late 18th century in England. Click to view close-up
Smog scene The infamous London fogs were exacerbated by a combination of smoke and fog - smog Click to view close-up
World War II scene (bombing raid) This shows the destruction and damage during bombing raids. Click to view close-up
Nuclear bomb (mushroom cloud) Nuclear testing above ground persisted for years after WWII ended, causing radioactive pollution and radiation exposure to people. Click to view close-up
Gasworks / industrial scene (industrial pollution) Following World War I, oil and gas began to displace coal in small scale industry and home heating. At the same time, city life in the early 20th century was increasingly unpleasant. The environment was often polluted with filth and smoke and housing conditions were crowded and insanitary. Click to view close-up
Sewerage outlet pipe Untreated sewerage and industrial effluent was commonly discharged in to rivers and the sea. Click to view close-up
Clock / rain forest scene Time is running out for the ecology of some regions. The scene depicts de-forestation triggered by man's mismanagement of land and natural resources.  Click to view close-up
Corn / GM foods This piece symbolises the selective breeding and genetic modification of crops and foodstuffs. Click to view close-up
Oil tanker (oil spill) Routine discharges from tankers, as well as the aftermath of shipwrecks and collisions are still a threat to the oceans and coastal ecosystems. Click to view close-up
Sea bed (ocean pollution) An example of some of the rubbish and debris which can be found on river beds, seas/coastal areas etc. Click to view close-up
"Cocktail of intoxication" A cocktail of fossil fuel emissions from a variety of sources. Click to view close-up
Green belt scene (slicing through the green belt) Planners made provision for recreational areas or "green belts" which are now being swallowed up and developed for office development and new housing. Click to view close-up
Dolly the sheep (cloning) This image represents genetic engineering. For authenticity of the subject matter, the original image was photocopied and a copy stamp was then added to each one to represent cloning. Click to view close-up
The Future...  
Entry by permit holders only Land swallowed up for growth of industry, retail developments, road networks, new homes, towns and cities will mean rationing out the only remaining living green spaces left representing a future where land has diminished to such a dwindling resource, that it has to be accessed in this fashion. Click to view close-up
World scene- soldiers The world map scene showing a vision of a world encased in military might - world domination and mans' eternal quest for power. Click to view close-up
Tidal wave A tidal wave representing the consequences of global warming with the melting of the Antarctic ice floes and the chaotic predicted changes of weather patterns. Click to view close-up
"No Animals" With the loss of forests and open spaces, natural habitats will be destroyed and along with it, species of animals and wildlife which could disappear completely. Click to view close-up
CCTV cameras (surveillance) A time in the Future when even innocent pastimes such as going to a concert, or relaxing on the beach, are overseen by the presence of the CCTV system. Click to view close-up
Computer dinner party This image shows how people are becoming more isolated and the dangers of travelling in a polluted environment - hence the new social concept of interacting this way. Click to view close-up
Market scene The advancement of genetic engineering could bring foods that are produced under laboratory conditions and which behave completely differently from their humble origins. If you look carefully at the price labels etc on the stall, you will hopefully read subtle messages. Click to view close-up
Street scene A street scene which shows a concrete world of buildings, walls and asphalt. Gravestones are the memorials to the trees that once graced the avenues and streets. Click to view close-up

The real exhibition!

The actual collages, from which this virtual display was created, were first exhibited at The Architecture Centre, Narrow Quay, Bristol. For pictures of the premiere click this link .

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