SCIENCE MEETS ART MEETS OCEAN: DOUGLAS COUPLAND’S VORTEX OPENS AT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM ON MAY 18

Internationally renowned for his work in contemporary thought, literature, visual, and public art, Douglas Coupland now adds environmental art to his remarkable portfolio. Vortex – the first-ever full-scale artistic imagining of the Pacific Trash Vortex or Great Pacific Garbage Patch – opens May 18, 2018 at the Vancouver Aquarium®, an Ocean Wise® initiative.

Vortex is an exploration of the escalating global ocean plastic pollution crisis and the evolving human relationship with this ubiquitous material in an emotive, provocative, and inspirational way.

Catch a sneak peek of this radical art installation by watching the Facebook Live below:

 

The focal point of Vortex is a 50,000L water installation. A battered day-fishing boat from Japan, lost during the tsunami in 2011 and found on the shores of Haida Gwaii in 2017, sits at the centre of the ocean. The crew, a collection of four realistic and fantastical characters, are adrift in a dense gyre of waves, mist, and marine debris collected from British Columbia shorelines. The historical roots of the installation lie partially in works that speak of characters being adrift on a raft: Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa as well as Bill Reid’s Spirit of Haida Gwaii.

Inspired by the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s “dirty dozen”, the exhibition also features a gallery wall showcasing a curious collection of the most common marine debris found washed up on shorelines.

Vortex opens at the Vancouver Aquarium on May 18; tickets are available at: www.vanaqua.org/vortex. The installation will be complemented by interactive experiences throughout the Aquarium’s galleries that highlight the ways plastic has penetrated and impacted our oceans as well as forward-looking solutions that will help us create a more sustainable ocean.

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