Ghost Net Landscape 2020: Sea Stories released online!

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welcome to Ghost Net Landscape

We live on an ocean planet.

97% of Earth's water is found in our oceans: vast expanses stretching across nearly three-quarters of the world. Our deep, shared connection to the ocean is not always obvious in daily life, even though 80% of humans live within a day's drive of the coast. But half the oxygen breathed by all living beings is generated from the sea. One third of humanity relies on fish to sustain themselves.

The health and vitality of our planet's oceans is absolutely essential to our own, personal, ability to thrive.

The Ghost Net Landscape interactive installation is a call to action that begins with what we have: a massive supply of fishing gear, from "ghost net" lost at sea to responsibly recycled material from commercial fisheries. This is the exhibit's jumping-off point for imagining radical hope, creating positive transformation and engaging collaborative creativity.

Ghost Net Landscape is an art installation and performance, inviting the community to collaborate by transforming fishing rope waste into artwork. Join me (artist Emily Miller) for this traveling art installation with 1,000+ pounds of fishing rope debris. I'll be working in the exhibit space, making baskets on my sewing machine and inviting everyone to participate in transforming this marine debris into art!

Bring Ghost Net Landscape to your community starting in 2021!

I'm currently seeking partnerships to travel the project to new locations around the world. Click here to learn more about hosting a Ghost Net Landscape exhibit in your community.

photo book: 2019 exhibits

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"Loved the interactive experience."
"It was a truly uplifting time for me. I felt accepted as a fellow artist, even tho my creations were of a simple 'folksy' nature."
"I knew the learning objectives we discussed would be good. But I also really like the way it was just a lot of fun and it was a good de-stressing opportunity at the end."
"It was a fun and enlightening experience to explore your work, all of the creative designs, artistic fish, and insightful conversations."
"It was absolutely stunning and so fun to independently interact with the materials."
"It inspired me to think more broadly about ways we can respond to environmental and other issues—through art."
"There were deep ethical issues for which this was perfect. We are still discussing the project every day in class."
"It was really valuable to see someone shedding light on this issue as well as hope"
"Seeing the net as treasure rather than trash leaves an impression not quickly forgotten."
"The idea of using the nets for projects for both artistic and practical purposes was incredibly inspirational as well as rewarding, knowing that I was helping the environment by repurposing."
"I think the most valuable part of the project to me was the change in mindset. We should be looking at problems more as opportunities than issues."
"It was fun to share with my friends and family! I love that it could be fun for all ages to participate in."
"This project is actively placing the power to create change in the hands of those who experience it."

During each exhibit, the community is invited to participate in collecting and transforming materals.

COLLECT: Gather ghost net from the beach, and salvage retired net and long line from local fisheries
CREATE: Untangle and unwind fishing rope... Take home materials... Explore a new material to make art... Lead collaborative work in your specialty!

Your Name:
Group Size:
What days and times can you join us?
How do you want to collaborate?


Ghost net fishing rope - marine debris, ocean pollution

Ghost net is one of the most abundant and dangerous sources of marine debris in our oceans.

This lost or abandoned fishing gear makes up 46% of the mass in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where it entangles wildlife and disintegrates into microplastics, affecting every level of the food web and marine ecosystem.

Since 2015, I have created machine-stitched baskets from this fishing rope washed up on the coastlines of Oregon, Kauai, and Maine. The collection site of each rope tells its own unique story about the effects of coastal industry on local and global scales.

In 2018, I pulled rope from a massive environment created from two tons of ghost net, hauled off Kauai's beaches by Surfrider Kauai in just two months.

This experience directly inspired the Ghost Net Landscape installation. By bringing the pile into the gallery, the project shares its powerful physical presence - a small fraction of what washes ashore every day. What happens to the material after it is removed from the ocean is a work in progress. Ghost Net Landscape seeks to discover how much artwork I can create from the mass, and to show how much more can be done when we work together.

Worldwide, I've seen a variety of evolving solutions. Companies are melting down ocean plastic for use in products like skateboards, shoes, and building bricks. Some places (including Hawaii) incinerate it in modern waste-to-energy facilities. And more and more artists are taking advantage of marine debris in their work!

Check out Splash Trash on Instagram for over 200 artists making incredible art with marine debris worldwide!

project timeline

Find the full story on my website at


"...a modern, ecological twist on Rumpelstiltskin’s alchemy of spinning straw into gold..."
"...the Ghost Net Landscape Installation has had an inspiring ripple effect throughout the local creative community..."

© 2021 Emily Miller fine art - Ocean-inspired artwork from Oregon & Kauai.