At the beginning of October I flew to Malta for a special project.
I collaborated trought Dancing Fox with two ONG, ‘Our Fish’ and ‘Fish 4 Tomorrow’ in the contest of the global ‘Our Ocean’ conference, hosted on 5-6th October 2017 by EU Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella. The conference brought political, business and civic leaders from around the world together to promote commitments for addressing global ocean problems.
The Mediterranean Sea is suffering today more than in the past. Action must be taken. Already under pressure from pollution, shipping and mass tourism, its fish stocks are 96% overfished, shark species are under risk of extinction, and illegal fishing is rampant – often driven by criminal organisations. Our Fish team said it’s an embarrassing example of the EU’s failure to implement the Common Fisheries Policy and end overfishing.
If EU governments don’t act now, this vital sea may no longer be able to provide a secure source of seafood, or sustainably support a fishing economy. They invite people to sign the petition https://act.wemove.eu/
So I was there to create a 3D piece on this issue. Title was Food for Thought. 3×6 meters big.
A big wood dish with something on. A giant octopus holding a spoon is bringing a sandiwch with a child girl inside. She is not scared. She is sad and she is looking the baby dying swordfish on the left. The octopus shows also a empty bowl, something right for a fish soup. People could interact with my painting in this way: sitting in the empty bowl as food themselves and showing some papers with important issues.
I created this artwork inspired by a single question: what will we eat if there are no more fish? The Mediterranean has shaped our food, our art and our culture for thousands of years, and today it is time for us to come together to protect this rich cultural and natural bounty for generations to come. The idea was to sensitise people interacting with the painting to the themes of the ocean safety and protection. I think the goal was reached, I hope that it was.
Another artist from Malta, Twitch, worked on a interesting piece for the same project. He created a light painting of ghostly swordfish near Valletta. In the meantime Michelin-starred chefs from Italy, Spain and France have signed a letter to the Ministers asking for urgent action to save the future of Mediterranean, to increase enforcement to stop widespread illegal fishing, to apply science-based fishing limits for commercial species, to create a network of fisheries restricted areas, to find funds to remove the most environmentally destructive trawlers and substantially reduce the capacity of the fleet, and assist the transition of communities to more sustainable fisheries.
Well, the time has come to be much more generous in return, or risk losing all of this great beauty forever. A subject that I really feel and I was proud to collaborate on.
I want to thank Maeve Simons and Tommy Crawford for their effort and enthusiasm in Malta. Thank you also to Zigli Jonathan Borgfor the pictures.