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Death on Life

Death on Life

Isobel Gaggin & Miley Atkinson, Taroona High School

In collaboration with Dr Beth Strain, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, UTAS

Artist’s Statement

Through the human pressures of overfishing, sea temperature warming, and urbanisation, many of the marine ecosystems have become degraded. This is no exception for most of the work that Dr Beth Strain conducts, with our group’s focus being on the Tasmanian Flat Oyster, Giant Kelp, Seagrass, and the Live-bearing Seastars. These species are what make Tasmania’s sea country thrive and become part of Tasmanian’s big picture beauty. We also explored the relationship between the dead and the thriving and how one cannot live without the other. The effect that humans have on these defenceless species also informed our work. 

The art created on this sheet of perspex depicts a scene of a dead and dying ecosystem with the Giant Kelp bleached, the Seagrass brown, and the Flat Oysters overgrown with invasive species. Whilst the healthy scene is created with the paint pens, symbolising unity, the dying scene is created with acrylic using our hands, to symbolise that humans are the ones taking from nature. 

Photographer: Peter Whyte

Project Gallery