Debridement at the Maritime Museum – opening February 11th
“Debridement is the process of removing nonliving tissue from wounds
to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.”
We are increasingly concerned by the protection of our environment. We imagine the vibrant waters with life, colorful corals, and swarms of multi-colored fish. But we cannot any longer walk our beaches without finding some man made debris. In fact 4.7 million tons of plastic waste reaches the sea annually, swept from mundane terrestrial existence into swirling adventure via rivers and sewage drains, or dumped from ships. Toothbrushes, syringes, dentures, Lego blocks, lighters… Are we really powerless? The 21st century has now numerous artists who are sensitive about the future of our planet. With their works, they change the way we experience our reality. What for us can be a simple neglected plastic bottle on a beach is for them the beginning of something new. Skeleton Sea artist João Parrinha, has been working on a project in collaboration with children in Abu Dhabi. Richard Lang and Judith Selby, in California use colorful debris to create arts. Judith says, “we’re not cleaning the beach, we’re curating the beach.” Willis Elkins collects disposable plastic cigarette lighters and ink pens from the shores of New York City that he documents and repurposes. By recontextualizing our trash into art to be seen or used, these artists are working to sensitize and engage the public in becoming involved in addressing this mounting issue.
This upcoming show at the Vancouver Maritime Museum is, we hope, the first of a series of partnerships with community organizations to increase awareness on this issue. Students from the Hudson Elementary School will create works with the advice of artists Kay Slater and Tahina Awan . The Ocean Gybe organization will provide the educational component and artist Tiki Mulvihill and Fae Logie and Ron Zimmer and Kevin Curry will install original art work in the Museum’s Marina. The opening is to coincide with B.C.’s family day February 11th. This multi-layered project is an example of socially engaged art that aims to involve participants in the making of the work to learn actively about the issue being explored.
by Pierre Leichner, Board rep for Eco-arts
More on this project at https://cacv.ca/debridementproject