The Asian Civilisation Museum may not strike you as the most enticing holiday hang, but you might just change your mind this June. A stunning display of more than 80 sea creatures, woven from deadly drift nets now adorn a full room and lawn at the museum.
Ghost Nets of the Ocean, or Au Karem ira Lamar Lu is created by Lynnette Griffiths, Marion Gaemers, and 18 Erub (where..? read below) Arts artists. The artworks are being showcased for the first time in Singapore.
The greatest culprit of marine debris entering the coastal region of Northern Australia is abandoned fishing nets. Made from nearly-transparent plastic that drift aimlessly, indiscriminately killing as they travel with the ocean currents. The nets are obtained by local indigenous communities along Australia’s Torres Strait and woven into intricate portraits of their numerous captives – turtles, squids, jellyfish, corals and fish. Marine animals are totemic to Erub, who promote their seafaring heritage through contemporary art.
Northern Australia one of the last remaining safe havens for endangered marine and coastal species, including six of the seven marine turtle species in the world, dugongs and sawfish.
Enormous at first glance (some sculptures span well over 3 meters) and immensely detailed on close inspection, this might be the only time people be faced with and forced to ponder the pollution we cause, which immediately affects the ocean’s health, and inevitably the human race as well.
80% of animals caught in ghost nets are marine turtles. Other species frequently harmed by these debris are sharks, whales, dugongs, crabs, dolphins and birds.
This installation of approximately 1450 sardines is a result of a collaborative social media campaign where the artists taught and invited people to help make and contribute five sardines each.
The exhibition is complemented by the Tiny Turtles project – an installation of smaller-scale artworks created as part of a collaboration between Torres Strait schools, local and international schools in Singapore, and children with special needs in Singapore.
Over 700 miniature turtles woven from ghost nets will be displayed on the lawn of the Asian Civilisations Museum, as part the museum’s Children Season 2017 programmes.
Ghost Nets of the Ocean runs from 1 June to 6 August. Also on offer during the June school holidays in Singapore are a wide variety of craft workshops, storytelling sessions and talks, drama and musical performances, and gallery trails.