Ocean Sentinels comprises a series of traditional figures from Pacific Island nations such as Australia, New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati...
Small Ocean Collaboration: Jeremy Sheehan (Australia) / Selena Griffith (Australia) / Adam Pierce (Australia)
Jo Elliot (Australia)
Ocean Sentinels comprises a series of traditional figures from Pacific Island nations such as Australia, New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Samoa, and The Philippines. They represent the communities under threat from sea level rise due to human-induced climate change and those suffering the impacts of ocean plastic pollution.
Each totem has been scanned and then 3D printed from 100% recycled plastic filament. At 2.4m to 3m tall, they stand at Circular Quay looking out over Sydney Harbour, watching the tides rise and fall, waiting for their inevitable inundation. Visitors passing between and around the figures can listen to the haunting soundscape of lapping waves as the tides come in and out.
Each of the figures is lit with moving light reflections, echoing waves along island beaches. As the waves rise, they will eventually consume these communities, rendering them climate refugees. When communities flee their island homes, they risk losing their identity, culture, language, traditions and connectedness. One day, The Ocean Sentinels may be all that is left to remind us of these cultures lost to human-induced climate change.
Country represented by installation: Australia