Ocean Sentinels comprises seven traditional figures representing Pacific Island communities and environments under threat from human induced climate change...

Ocean Sentinels

Location:

Circular Quay
2000 NSW
Australia

Ocean Sentinels

Event Details

Artists:
Small Ocean Collaboration: Jeremy Sheehan (Australia) / Selena Griffith (Australia) / Adam Pierce (Australia)

Collaborators:
Jo Elliot (Australia) / Prof. Ross Griffith (Australia) / Waqar Alam (Pakistan) / YOWA (Australia) / Belau National Museum (Palau) / Robert Kweva Kaluluwa (Papua New Guinea) / Menzy Meani (Solomon Islands) / Rojo Balane (Philippines) / Willie Koko (Vanuatu) / Dept. of Resources and Development, Pohnpei State Government Kolonia Pohnpei (Micronesia)

Ocean Sentinels comprises seven traditional figures representing Pacific Island communities and environments under threat from human induced climate change in the form sea level rise and ocean plastic pollution. These impact the lives of communities by disrupting their food supplies and housing through inundation, and their environment and food supplies through contamination.

Working with local artists and museums, The Small Ocean Collaboration 3D scanned wooden carved figures, modelled them, scaled and segmented them, then 3D printed each from recycled PET bottles and recyclable PETG filament. The 279 individual pieces were then reassembled, glassed, fitted with lights and fixed to pedestals. Each figure stands 2.4m to 3m tall gazing out over the water.

The Figures Are:
The Little Tern from Australia made in collaboration with Gumbaynggir artist YOWA; a female ancestor harvest figure from Nukuoro Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia made with permission from the Dept. of Resources and Development, Pohnpei State Government Kolonia Pohnpei FSM; a boathouse figure from Palau made in collaboration with an unknown artist and Belau National Museum; a male Kirivina figure from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea, made in collaboration with Robert Kweva Kaluluwa; Kesoku, a protective bird figure from Honiara, Solomon Islands made in collaboration with Menzy Meani; Tugpa the messenger and hero of the Eskaya people of Bohol Island, Philippines made in collaboration with Rojo Balane; and Vanuatu Tam Tam / Ambrym drum which simulates the voices of ancestors in Efate/Ambrym Island, made in collaboration with Willie Koko.

Visitors passing by the figures hear a haunting soundscape of lapping waves, composed by Adam Pierce, as the tides come in and out. The sentinels are lit with moving light, echoing the waves lapping along island beaches that will rise and eventually consume these communities.

One day, the Ocean Sentinels may be all that is left to remind us of cultures lost to climate change.

Country represented by installation: Australia

Access and Inclusion

  • Audio described - Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Trained audio describers give live, objective, verbal descriptions.
  • Wheelchair accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Sponsors

Centre for Social Impact
Coca Cola Australia
UNSW