A Journey into the Deep. On World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the “Blue Heart” of our Planet, which covers almost 71% of its surface, is the principal component of Earth’s hydrosphere, forms part of the carbon cycle, regulates climate and weather patterns, served as the impetus for the emergence of life 39 billion years ago, and continues to provide the life support system for all known species on Earth, supplying half of our oxygen.

I have selected a stellar collection of ocean arts and designs, created by four multi-talented individuals and teams, to honor the occasion.

Underwater Photographs

Jim Kirklin

Oceanographer, software engineer, and nature photographer

Purple Ring Top Snail (Calliostoma annulatum), Monterey Bay, California

With an advanced degree in geophysics and a career that has included time with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and work on research projects in 3 different oceans, as well as a number of years working with a startup developing a new class of autonomous vehicles used in the ocean, Kirklin has developed an intense interest in the ecology of the ocean and its varied marine life. He has also been photographing nature and wildlife most of his life and an avid SCUBA diver for the last 20 years. Sooner or later these three interests were bound to intersect in underwater photography, resulting in stunning images of ocean life in the waters off California, Florida, Carribean, Solomons, Micronesia and Galapagos Islands, etc.

A selection of these images can be seen in our Visual Arts gallery. Kirklin’s works give us a glimpse of the beautiful and mysterious life in the world’s oceans, only 5% of which has been explored. The ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but over two million marine species are estimated to exist.

Kirklin’s underwater photography has won awards and been featured in shows on the Central Coast and Sonoma, California.

Dive Deep Jewelry Collection

Susan Rockefeller

Documentary filmmaker, author, jewelry designer and avid conservationist

18″ Natural Color Pearl Necklace, from Dive Deep Collection, by Susan Rockefeller

Susan Rockefeller’s lifelong admiration and respect for the seas led her to get involved in ocean protection.

“When I was a child, I would hunker down on the beach squinting, trying to spot a dolphin fin, a whale spout, even the iridescent tail of a mermaid. I love the ocean because it is full of mystery, soothes my soul and makes me aware of its immense power.”

Rockefeller is a board member of Oceana and chairs the Ocean Council for Oceana, is a board member of the We Are Family Foundation, is a member of the global Leadership Council for Natural Resources Defense Council and serves on the program committee for the Stone Barns Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Signature Mermaid and Sea Start Charm with 18″ Chain, from Dive Deep Collection, by Susan Rockefeller

With her creative power and artistic talents, her deep commitment to nurturing our planet is expressed through films, magazines, and a unique jewelry collection Deep Dive, featured in our Lifestyle gallery. The collection highlights the beauty and wonder of our oceans through timeless, elegant designs. Each piece is crafted with intention and serves as a beautiful tool to continue the global conversation about ocean protection and conservation.

Sketch Aquarium

teamLab and children

teamLab is a Tokyo-based ultra-technologists group blurring the borders between Technology, Art, and Design through “experimentation and innovation”.

Sketch Aquarium is a digital, interactive aquarium they created where sea creatures drawn by children come to life! Children use their imagination to create colorful sea creatures on paper. These sea creatures then come to life as projections that enter a virtual sea, and begin to swim about freely. When children get close to the display, a piece of food appears before them, causing the creatures in the virtual sea to gather around it.

Isn’t it tempting for adults too!

“Revolution” (2015) and “Sharkwater” (2007)

Rob Stewart

Biologist, photojournalist, award-winning filmmaker and conservationist

For those willing to “dive” deeper to see marine beauty in action, to catch up on some fundamental science about life, and to confront the ugly and dangerous destructions to the world’s oceans not only leading to extinctions of fish by 2050, but also threatening the survival of our own species, I recommend two epic films by Rob Stewart, “Sharkwater” and “Revolution”.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Stewart began photographing underwater when he was 13. By the age of 18, he became a scuba instructor and then moved on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, studying in Ontario, Jamaica and Kenya. As chief photographer for the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s magazines, he led expeditions to the most remote areas of the world, and logged thousands of hours underwater using the latest in camera and rebreather technologies. Stewart’s highly sought-after images have appeared in nearly every media form worldwide.

At the age of 22 he left his career behind and embarked on a remarkable journey over four years and 12 countries, studying and filming sharks, when he found illegal long-lining in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The resulting debut film “Sharkwater” was hugely successful, winning 40+ awards at prestigious film festivals around the world and broke box office records. It is credited by many as igniting the shark conservation movement and a massive public outcry to end shark finning. It changed the hearts and minds in people as well as government policy worldwide. Today shark finning is banned everywhere.

“Revolution”, Stewart’s follow-up film, builds on Sharkwater. Again, incredible wildlife spectacles, narrated by Stewart’s terrific story-telling, are interlaced with human drama, corruption and political battles. But this time, he is uncovering a lot more in jeopardy than sharks. By going back 39 billion years into the evolution of life on earth, Stewart demonstrates that our fate is tied not only to the 420 million+ year-old species at the top of the underwater food chain, but also to the smallest of creatures such as phytoplanktons. Dire as the situation maybe, the filmmaker is paradoxically upbeat, as his journey is also revealing a massive revolution to save the ecosystem and fight for human survival, led in part by youths.

Watch a trailer of “Revolution” in our Cinema.

Tagged: film, interactive arts, jewelry, marine biology, ocean, ocean conservation, oceans, photography, Revolution, Rob Stewart, sea, Sharkwater, Susan Rockefeller, teamLab, underwater photography, World Oceans Day

Originally published at artsofsciences.wordpress.com on June 8, 2015.

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