United KingdomView Artist
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – January 2023
The idea behind ‘Caught Between The Devil and The Deep Blue’ was to raise the impossible conflict imposed upon our oceans as a result of overfishing and environmental exploitation. As the global population tips past eight billion and counting, pressure on our oceans to feed and sustain those numbers is ever-growing. For many, there seems to be an underlying assumption that the earth’s oceans are simply too vast to ever cease providing, that they are a self-sustaining resource. Current estimates however suggest that, if nothing changes, the world’s oceans could be left virtually empty by 2048, meaning we may run out of fish entirely before mid-century.
To me, the mythical character of the mermaid felt like the perfect allegory for an ocean attempting to fight back – a beautiful seabound temptress luring weary sailors to their watery graves. In this instance, however, she has not only been harpooned and bound but trapped within a glass enclosure, unable to escape and protect the oceans from further destruction. She is the reminder that against the demands of eight billion humans, there can be no capable defense. The choice then, “Between The Devil and The Deep Blue,” falls to us. Do we continue our pattern of unsustainability, exploiting a defenseless ocean until it runs dry? Or do we choose to take positive action by helping to support viable options for maintaining healthy oceans worldwide? The power to change is within our hands.