Beauty in a Toxic Medium
2018, High School, Art
My piece represents the beauty of life in the sea that once was present yet has been destroyed as well as the great diversity of life that still remains despite the oceans having been turned hazardous through civilizations’ impact on the natural world. The setting of the piece is off the coast of the cold waters of the English Channel, yet in the bottom right corner of the piece sits a tropical hermit crab with a coral polyp attached to its shell. This represents how climate change is forcing the migration of tropical animals towards the poles, permanently changing the composition and function of the planet's ecosystems. Our civilization has changed the world forever, and our impacts will still persist even if the seas are to be restored to their full abundance and diversity, as I wish to convey as part of my message. In the background, an oil slick peppered with hazardous waste buckets coats the water where a pod of whales is attempting to rest and breathe. This level of pollution represents the way climate change pervades the entire natural world as well as associating climate change, a largely invisible phenomenon, with spilled oil, a highly visible act of environmental destruction. I took reference from the beautiful White Cliffs of Dover off the English coast in designing the cliffs in my piece.