Artist Statement“Every year, an average of seven people die from interactions with sharks in the ocean. When I tell people this fact they second guess me, make me look it up on my phone right in front of them, or tell me I must mean every day, not every year. The truth is that although these deaths are tragic for the families that experience them, you stand more of a chance of being crushed to death by a vending machine than dying from a shark attack in any given year.
So why are we so afraid of sharks? In my research for this mural I came across many possible reasons, but to me the most intriguing is the loss of control we feel when we enter into the vast, open ocean and are confronted with its almost incomprehensible depth and mystery. The idea that a formidable predator like a shark could take us by surprise fills us with a sense of dread even if we know that statistically, this is completely irrational.
The real irony here comes when I mention a second fact. Over 100 million sharks die from human interactions globally every year. Our desperation for control over oceans, markets, medicines, the food chain, the past, the future, and everything in between, means we strive to dominate all other species on Earth, most often through violence justified with terms such as ‘the economy’ or ‘progress.’ But the violence we visit on other species is only a temporary form of control. As we continue to slaughter our fellow creatures with abandon, our ability to control the future slips through our fingers in a directly-correlating negative feedback loop.
Until we can learn to honor our ideals of bounty and regeneration above those of capitalistic extraction and control, we will continue this downward spiral. The more we try to control, the more chaotic our world systems will get. However, if we can learn to value balance and reciprocal generosity, I have great hope that we can create a better outcome for future generations of all creatures.”
— Sophy Tuttle
The FocusShark Conservation
Action StepsHelp conserve shark populations by:
• Refrain from consuming shark fins and meat
• Purchase cosmetic/health products that don't contain squalene (shark liver oil)
• Avoid pet food that list 'white fish' as an ingredient as it likely is shark
• Support responsible shark tourism operations and experience the animals in their natural habitat