Collaborative World Oceans Day art exhibition at St Mary's Church unites creators to teach community about protecting the sea

AN ‘INSPIRING’ art exhibition to mark World Oceans Day has seen dozens of creators come together to create sculptures, art and use the spoken word to educate people humans are harming the ocean.

By Hollie Busby
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 4:45 am

Spoken word artists, marine biologists and sea shanty singers joined aquarist from Bristol Aquarium, Stacey Tomkin and author of Octopus Medicine, Becci Louise to bring their work to life at St Mary’s Church in Fratton.

The celebration, to mark World Oceans Day, highlighted how people can be more conscious about their plastic waste to protect the environment..

The project, titled Octopus Story, took place yesterday . It comes following a £50,000 funding boost from Arts Council England in hopes to create ‘bigger and better’ project platforms for creators to showcase their works across the city.

Pictured: World Oceans team creative director Roni Edwards, producer Roy Hanney, project manager Angela Parks and project evaulator, Anna Marie Flynn at St Mary’s Church with some of the artwork that’s being exhibited Picture: Habibur Rahman

Organiser, Roy Hanney, said the exhibition featured ‘really fantastic work’ by schoolchildren across the area.

The Solent University lecturer said: ‘The eco warriors from one of the schools have created a giant octopus out of recycled materials and it's absolutely stunning.

‘It's really important that we get young people to engage with the environment but also it's important that they have the opportunity to engage in creative ways of thinking about the world.

‘It's inspirational to see local artists collaborating with marine biologists at the University of Portsmouth and working with these young school children to see that process bring out all of these different means of creativity.’

World Oceans Day exhibition at St Mary’s Church, Fratton, Portsmouth on Wednesday 8th June 2022 Pictured: Some of the art works on display Picture: Habibur Rahman

Author of poetry book Octopus Medicine, Becci Louise, was part of the project and said: ‘If we're going to do anything in terms of the climate crisis and the way that our oceans are then we need to be working together and we need to be working artistically in every way that we can really.

‘World Oceans Day was something we had the opportunity to get involved with which is great because it's very much in line with what we're trying to do which is raise awareness in terms of our understanding of the ocean and build up a sense of our responsibility towards it.

‘We started the project earlier this year and we got art council funding from it which was really exciting and we're building up and immersive theatre project which will hopefully culminate in November.’

Pictured: Some of the artwork on show Picture: Habibur Rahman
Artist Angela McMahon with her Jellyfish that she made out of recycled materials Picture: Habibur Rahman