Artist StatementThe oceans connect us all and it’s up to ALL of us to protect them. For my Sea Walls mural, I wanted to focus on some of the environmental issues that face the beautiful island of Cozumel. The pygmy raccoon (also known as the Cozumel raccoon) is one of 36 species endemic to the island; it’s also critically endangered with habitat loss caused by tourism as a major culprit. A landfill reflected in the eye of the raccoon represents how these animals can only watch as their habitat gets destroyed and taken over.
The raccoon is painted to break and fade away, and if you look hard you can see a cruise ship in amongst the splatters. This serves as a reminder of the monstrous cruise ships that bring 5 million people to the island every year, severely impacting on its ecosystems. With another port in the pipelines, this number may double to 10 million people a year! For an island that has one of the world’s largest reefs and is home to so many endemic species, we can only hope that regulations and support from the local government will be able to protect it.
The FocusEndemic species conservation, plastic pollution, mass tourism and coastal development.