Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My granddaughter was talking to me about how the dorsal fins of whales in captivity droop or collapse. I did a little research and found out that most whales taken from the wild have the dorsal fin collapsed. ALL whales born in captivity have the collapsed fin. Only one percent have the collapse in the wild. Continuing with our conversation about this, my theory was... I, being a land creature who loves being in the ocean, swimming, snorkeling and BEING FREE, find it challenging when I cannot get down to the beach on a regular basis.
Ocean living creatures like whales, dolphins and other sea animals, having free reign of the ocean (since that is their habitat) after having been captured and put in the equivalent of a bathtub, are probably quite depressed. You know they mate for life and travel in families called pods. They're taken away from their mates, their children and the rest of their families, forced to live the rest of their lives in the confines of the "arena" where they are forced to entertain huge crowds of people. Never to swim freely in the huge expanse of ocean again. Their every act under the watchful eye of others. There are countless others that are killed for various products that are harvested from their bodies.
I began working on a series of paintings depicting the destruction that man has brought to our oceans, the coral reefs, fish, whales, dolphins and the whole system. I finished the first one titled, Approaching Storm. The ominous hurricane wall gives the impression that it is all about the natural storm's destructiveness, but this is just the beginning of the story. In the distance you can see the oil rig and tanker approaching the teaming life in the foreground. Compared with the destructiveness of the storm, mankind is like a growing cancer to the sea and all the life therein. Hurricanes may slice away beaches when they're big enough, but eventually everything gets rebuilt, naturally. Reefs are spread to other parts of the ocean and multiplied. Things get re-arranged and washed ashore. The picture is misleading at first, but as I tell the story through the rest of the paintings, the message will be clear.
"God shed his grace on thee,and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."
This is my painting, Approaching Storm.
by Patti Williams