PANGEASEED X LONELY WHALE : A COLLABORATION WITH NEW ZEALAND’S DSIDE
“I’VE NEVER SEEN ONE … I THOUGHT IF I PAINT IT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO FEEL HOW BIG IT IS…”
Through a thick Kiwi accent, artist and activist DSide explained his decision to paint a Blue Whale at scale while sitting beside a blank wall, his canvas.
Invited by PANGEASEED to partake in their SEA WALLS, MURALS FOR THE OCEANS festival in Napiers, New Zealand, DSide is collaborating with Lonely Whale to share the impact of plastics on the oceans. For the past ten years DSide has created ocean-based art, mostly under theCOLLECTIVE BMD, promoting environmental activism through his art : ARTivism. Although he’s not much of a swimmer himself (instead “chasing winters”) DSide explains his draw to the oceans can be explained through his love of research. There’s just “so much to learn about animals” and there’s still so much more to learn about the oceans…
For so many urban dwellers the oceans are a great mystery and with only 5% explored, oceans are a scientific mystery. But for DSide ocean animals are the perfect character for urban art. Why? Well unlike land animals who require grass, a hill, or some other physical representation of the land, sea animals are easily understood. “[B]ecause they’re floating” there is an “instant urban acceptance.” ONE OF DSIDE’S MOST FAMOUS WORKS AS BMD WITH ANDREW J STEEL CENTERED ON SHARK FINNING, the process of cutting off fins and leaving the animal to die. 192 sharks are killed every minute today so, to represent that statistic, DSide painted a mural of 192 sharks. Instead of a gruesome depiction DSide painted these sharks as individual characters, creating “a positive image out of a negative statistic.” This positivity is an important aspect of his work as he doesn’t aim to “…disturb the environment” but instead to create something beautiful out of something ugly. “A minute went by and you couldn’t even look at them all.” An overwhelming image to represent an overwhelming problem.
For his Lonely Whale collaboration, DSide is attempting something new : painting out of glass. (“Don’t hold me to it if it doesn’t work out,” he laughs.) In using glass as a medium, DSide hopes to represent “the fragility of it [the ocean], how fragile it is because of what we’ve done.” From micro beads to water bottles, plastics have infiltrated ocean ecosystems, disrupting food chains and ocean animal populations. Plastic pollution is one of the single most devastating issues oceans face today. However, in spite of the dire message DSide reassured that the piece won’t mar the beauty of his canvas (the wall). He explained that pleasant images lure people in, make them “…curious enough to look into it more.” This is how DSide spurs activism out of his art.
Signing off from the streets of New Zealand DSide said softly, “this will be the first whale I’ve painted. It’ll be my first whale…”
Read DSide’s Full Artist Statement for the Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls, Murals for the Oceans Festival :
Blue Whales [Balaenoptera Musculus] are the largest creatures to have ever lived amongst this Planet.
Us human’s actively reduced their balanced population to 0.15% during the Whaling era’s around the 1930’s. The species became protected from being hunted by man directly and has tried to recover it’s numbers, though they can’t escape the constant human impact and indirect hunting of them and their environment. Their existence is as fragile as all the life in the ocean, being increasingly attacked by our miss use, void education and understanding, carelessness, and lack of action to restore the damage we’ve caused. Plastic is the army we’ve sent to the ocean, to infect all it’s inhabitant’s, an invasion that will never dissolve or leave, and will only break down to smaller and smaller scales becoming more damaging and harder to cure [plastic lasts longer than diamonds]. The Blue Whale has the loudest voice of any creature, yet our limited capacities mean we can’t hear it, and therefore it can’t speak for itself about these issues; so it’s of my intention to show respect to it’s beauty and power, it’s size and strength of existance through a 1:1 scale painting, yet in contrast, to paint it depicting it’s fragility and growing demise due to its dependancy on the Ocean, the Ocean we’ve polluted.
#EARTHTOPARIS : COP21
Bright beautiful Monday morning here in Paris. ” Half of the coral reefs have disappeared…the scale of what’s happening in Paris, but they’re below the surface…we need to get a lot better about caring.” – the great Sylvia Earle at #EarthToParis
Along with many others gathering in Paris during COP21 are Adrain Grenier, Jane Goodall, and Sylvia Earle.
Their mission is to complete a new global climate agreement — an extraordinary opportunity for the international community to meet the threat of climate change.
Earth To Paris is bringing together experts, advocates, and CEOs to discuss creative and impactful climate solutions to inspire bold, meaningful action for people and the planet.
Join the #EarthToParis conversation and learn more HERE.
LONELY WHALE FOUNDATION LAUNCH AT ART BASEL, MIAMI
The launch of the Lonely Whale Foundation in Miami at Art Basel was a success, and it wouldn't have been possible without all of you! During the show, our community curated artwork was featured digitally on Dell tablets.
Artwork was sourced from the #DellXLonelyWhale Instagram campaign and the community curated show was shown on DELL Tablets at ART BASEL.
After our community art show, we ended the week by launching "A Response to our Oceans," a 3-minute Virtual Reality experience in partnership with Dell Precision, Alienware, AMD, and HTC technology. The video is voiced by Emily Osmet of "Young and Hungry" on ABC Family and "Mom" on CBS.