Tracey Williams: Adrift, Lego Lost At Sea

Time and date

Wednesday 17 July 2024

10:00 am

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On 13th February 1997, a huge storm near the coast of Cornwall pushed sixty-two containers off the cargo ship Tokio Express. One was filled with nearly 5 million pieces of Lego, many of which were themed around the sea. Beachcombers in the southwest of England soon began finding plastic octopuses, spear guns, scuba tanks, cutlasses, flippers and even dragons on their shores – pieces that are still washing up today. Join writer and beachcomber Tracey Williams who has been intrigued by this story and the changing nature of beachcombing since 1997, when she began to find thousands of pieces of sea-themed Lego washed up on beaches in South Devon

Admission: €12

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Adrift is an insight into the mysterious world of oceans and tides, shining a light on this lost Lego and other cargo spills, as well as their lingering legacies in the sand and sea. It also captures the magic of beachcombing while cataloguing some of the weird and not so wonderful plastic items now found on so many shores.


“An intriguing example of a truly global world heritage is Tracey Williams’ collection of plastic artefacts washed up on the world’s beaches. Her images illustrate how global production, consumption, and disposal of human artefacts are connected through the flows in the world’s oceans. A majority of this plastic trash does not find its way to any beaches but has a destructive impact on maritime habitats and contributes to building up a unique geological signal of the Anthropocene at the bottom of the sea.” Cornelius Holtof and Annalisa Bolin, UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures


“I loved this beautiful book. Meticulously researched and a joy to read, this fascinating story about the sea, consumerism and the impact humans are having on the marine environment is a must-have for all ocean lovers.” John Hourston, Founder, Blue Planet Society



Tracey Williams

Writer and beachcomber Tracey Williams has always been intrigued by chance finds and the stories and folklore behind them, from shells and sea glass discovered on childhood holidays in Cornwall...

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