Living in Cornwall, it may be hard to believe that sand could be running out, but a photographic artist’s latest exhibition aims to raise awareness of this lesser-known environmental and humanitarian issue.

Harena Now, an exhibition by Josie Purcell, will showcase images made with sand, sunlight, and seawater, using historic and camera-less photographic processes.

Josie said: “A growing demand for sand, particularly for booming construction industries in places such as India and China, or for use in land reclamation, fracking and beach re-nourishment, has led to some experts suggesting that sand may run out.

“Only certain sand, mainly from river and sea beds, is suitable for use in construction in particular and the global sand crisis is already adversely effecting people, places and ecosystems around the world.

“The situation has become so bad in certain areas that sand mafias take control, and people have lost homes, livelihoods and even their lives.”

Josie’s work is more abstract than documentary in style, melding various sources of inspiration from the passage of time to geology, the microscopic to the vast, anthropocentric to ecocentric ideologies, and the past to the present.

She added: “By juxtaposing the aesthetic of the image with the story behind them, I hope people will gain a fuller awareness of the topic and be motivated to take action, while I hope to learn more about how people respond to photographs that relate to environmental and humanitarian problems but do not depict them in an obvious manner.”

Josie is one of the first to complete an MA in Photography via Falmouth University’s online learning programme.

The Harena Now exhibition runs from July 26-30 at The Fish Factory, Penryn with an artist talk from 6-9pm on the Thursday.