I now have my basic first layer ready for my artwork. Crucially now including some much needed cetaceans! The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), for whom I am creating this piece for auction, sent me the story of a humpback whale as inspiration for my artwork. I read the story of a 25-foot humpback whale off the coast of California who was entangled in crab fishing. After a two-and-a-half week struggle, this story has a happy ending, though we are reminded that "Prognosis for survival is good, but not assured." Reading the full and detailed account of the struggles that this animal went through and the committment shown by the human beings to disentangle her, made me feel hopeful and hopeless in equal measure: it makes me so very sad that stories like this happen every day in our seas and oceans, but the hope is that with some changes to policy and awareness of this ghost gear issue, one day we may be able to stop this kind of thing happening in the first place.
The way that I have constructed my initial layers is to remind us of the story of our 25-foot friend, the way she struggled under the weight of the fishing gear but was ultimately freed and was given another chance to live life to the full. The ghost gear I have used is is reaching out from the depths of the sea (on the right hand side) toward our valiant untangled cetacean, escaping on the left.
Read the full story about the humpback whale here: