New ZealandView Artist
by Askew One
Napier, NZ – March 2016
Askew One incorporates his unique photorealistic portraiture half submerged in water, with underlying abstract elements of plush land and greenery above water and emanating concerns of ocean acidification and rising sea levels below.
I thought long and hard about a name for this mural, and one word constantly rang true during the week. It was Kaitiaki. It's the Māori word for guardianship of air, land, and sea.
With my mural, I was attempting to address several interrelated issues. I think the deeper I look into issues like ocean conservation I realize that nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is connected because we live on a planet that is a closed system. To allow things to recycle within that system, we have to be conscious of consuming more harmoniously with the system as opposed to being so disruptive.
I can talk about how we are driving climate change, how it is warming the planet and subsequently causing ocean acidification which is destroying the reefs and their complex ecosystems - what’s harder is to then unpack the myriad of related consequences. Those range from the harm to all the planets creatures, the environment, economics, social and political. I cannot stress this enough - if you strip away all the talk, the political posturing, and all the corporate spin, every issue we face as a species relates back to our relationship with this planet.
Something that may sound as random or inconsequential to your life as a dead reef in small island nation will have an impact on everyone at some point. Those thoughts inspired this mural and are dedicated to all our neighboring Pacific island nations, most likely the least contributors to the problem yet on the very frontline of the consequences of climate change.
This is not a problem that governments or corporations will ever fix as it conflicts with their core interests. The responsibility is with all of us to protect and conserve, to care for this earth that sustains us.
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