Carlette Joseph – The Poison Beneath the Ocean

Preface: Hi, my name is Carlette Joseph and the title of this portfolio is “The Poison Beneath The Ocean.” The license I will be using is CC BY 4.0.

The works of Benjamin Von Wong, Max Liboiron, and Alvaro Soler Arpa captures creative and inventive ideas and that has been celebrated for the ability to encourage audiences to think about the pollution that’s in the ocean. For years we have dealt with the issues of our ocean being polluted by things such as plastic, and it’s getting worse as the rate increases rapidly. These artists are expressing themselves through their art pieces and informing others on what is going on. If it continues the way it is, we will end up having an ocean where the sea creatures will no longer exist and our health will be at risk.


The two themes for this portfolio will be “Keeping the ocean clean”, and “Killing life in the sea”.


The artist of this work is named Benjamin Von Wong, and this photo was taken on August 28th, 2016. The theme of this art piece is “Mermaids Hate Plastic”, and he tries to make a topic that is seen as boring and transform it into something that is seen as being way more interesting. Benjamin uses his photography skills and the aid of his crew to help raise a positive impact on this issue. In this artwork, the ocean is replaced with trash that has been thrown and polluting the ocean. The mermaid is a symbol of all the sea creatures in the ocean that will later die from the pollution. He was able to do this work by borrowing about 10,000 bottles from a waste management centre in Tomra, where a plethora of volunteers came and helped clean the bottles. He got the mermaid idea from his mom, who found Cynthia by mistake when she was searching for a designer for his sister’s wedding dress. Seeing how beautiful her silicon tails were, he knew that he had to work with her on this project.

The name of the artist who created this piece above is known as Max Liboiron, who is a science and technology studies (STS) scholar, an activist, and an environmental scientist. At Memorial University, she is known as an associate professor in the subject for Geography. She also manages CLEAR (Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research), where they concentrate on the grassroots environmental monitoring of plastic pollution. This piece was created between 2013-2014. This sea glob piece is a representation of how New York’s ocean is looking, where the plastics AND the rocks were created out of bituminous coal that came from a landfill in Deadhorse Bay that has been closed since the 1930s. The theme of this art piece is “the plastic ocean”. When I look at this artwork, I think of a snow globe and the similarities it has. When shaking a snow globe, it shows snow falling in an area inside of it. So when shaking this “Sea globe,” it shows and symbolizes trash constantly being thrown into the ocean and it’s sinking down.

The name of the artist is Alvaro Soler Arpa, who draws because of his interest in organic form and merges it with his understanding of anatomy when it creates his fictional creatures. In this art piece, he uses objects such as wires, various sorts of animal bones, and plastic waste. The theme of this piece is “poisoning the sea animals.” His fictional creatures, or “modern day dinosaur”, is seen to be similar to that of fossil fuels. This piece shows a creature that is filled with plastic waste that it has eaten. This represents the sea creatures that are constantly consuming plastic and mistaking it for food. The skeleton symbolizes the sea creatures dying in the future if they continue to consume plastic waste.


I chose these art forms because I like when they use their creativity to express themselves with the use of either paintings, drawings, sculptures in a way that brings more enjoyment and attentiveness of an issue. These artforms I chose bring out more symbolism of the topic they are trying to explain. It allows others to look at it and think about what’s going on and allows people to even have different perceptions of it. For the first image created by Benjamin Von Wong, his photo provided a distinctive way of explaining the issue to us if we don’t do something about the pollution in the ocean, then the ocean will contain more plastic than sea creatures in the future. When you have trash, please throw it in the trash instead of in the ocean, and if you see trash on the floor, please pick it up and throw it in the trash as well. And that is the antidote of saving our health and the animals.


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Health and Environmental Humanities Artistic Expression Portfolio Copyright © by The Students of HUM2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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