Julie Sperling is a mosaic artist we’ve featured before; she tackles tough topics like climate change, plastic pollution, and industrial waste in her mosaic art, and writes a great blog to go with her pieces, with scientific background and details (including photos) of her pieces.

Her latest work is titled “Beyond Oceans”, and addresses the issue of freshwater microplastics. We hear a lot about the plastic pollution problem in the oceans, but plastic pollution is a huge problem in fresh water systems as well, and her work highlights this issue by including bits of plastic cutlery in a depiction of the Ottawa River, expressed in stone, glass, and plastic.

I love Ms. Sperling’s work, in part because of the issues she raises and the conversations she starts through her art, and also because they are beautiful. Her work captures movement and depth and time, and grounds us firmly in the Earth–land and water–in a way that resonates with me. I can appreciate the beauty of “Beyond Oceans”, and at the same time, the plastic pieces that stand out in the blue ribbon of river are a stark reminder of what’s at stake as we humans continue to plunder and pollute.

Stephanie McMillan wrote “The world cries out for meaningful, combative, political art.” Julie Sperling’s work is indeed that, and I thank her for it.

Check out Julie Sperling’s blog, and her other work, on her web site: http://sperlingmosaics.com.