Sunday, 30 June 2019

We are the World Blogfest # 26: Artist’s Sculptures being Sunk to Protect the Sea …




A local fisherman’s dream to bring his stretch of Tuscan waters back to life, where commercial trawlers have been ravaging the seabed …


c/o Bowman Sculpture
see link at end - this is
'Stillness Born of History'
Bottom trawling involves dragging a large net (which cannot discriminate its catch),  across the sea floor snatching large amounts of bycatch … destroying the habitat (sea meadows), killing the unwanted fish and other marine creatures - all trapped in this method, used by commercial fishermen …


We’ve seen other structures being used in the seas to give shelter and thus life to species in decline … yet here are amazing works of art being placed along this stretch of coastline to reinvigorate the sea floor – they are already succeeding …

Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1569 - 1859)


Emily Young, the sculptress, has an interesting pedigree and thus links to artists, writers, conservationists, polar explorers … while her sculptures are completely inspiring …




She lives in London and Tuscany … but has travelled and continues to journey widely … her website highlights her work … I’d recommend you pop over and have a look at her sculptures – they are truly beautiful


… the titles outside Tate Modern, London inspire:
                           Face of Stillness
                                   Stillness Born of History

… there is one exhibited in Siena until 20th July 2019:
                                            Solar Disk III … just delightful …


Talamone - an important sea port in Etruscan
times, a central Italian Monarchy during the
Medici and Holy Roman Emperor times;
Nelson and Garibaldi both used the little
harbour as a re-victualing stop over.

There’s a very short video of one of her sculptures being lowered onto the sea floor, and then with the regrowth, as well as fish re-population with cuttlefish, sea bream, sea bass, squid, lobsters etc … the restaurants can again offer local seafood, rather than Asian frozen fish …




Paolo Fianciulli, a local fisherman, who started using concrete blocks to thwart the trawlermen, has been targeted by unscrupulous thugs …


Carrara Marble Quarry

… but now a team of sculptors, including Emily, are sinking their works of art to continue protecting this coastline …


Marble from the renowned Carrara (Tuscan) Quarry  has been donated to the sculptors … it is not of the finest white that Michelangelo once worked, yet exhibits the stone’s geological history …



… her other sculptures ask that the viewer broods across deep time, geography and cultures … in other words to think deeply about our world and its life – how it came into being, and how we are a microscopic part in Gaia’s existence …


Maremma Nature Reserve
So here we have artworks that have a higher purpose than being worth thousands of pounds (not dollars!) … 300 donated chunks of Carrara marble ready to be sculpted, lowered overboard, they need barges to take the ten-tonne statues out to their watery resting places …




A blogfest highlighting positive news
where people are helping the world
She maybe dumbfounding her agent, leaving her colleagues aghast, as the artist, who has been called Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor, lets her magnificent works of art disappear into the murky depths to protect a part of the Tuscan seas and coastline against unprincipled humans with no sense of responsibility …



We are the World … In Darkness, Be Light




By-catch ... fish left to die ...
This is my #WATWB – an artist who uses her talents knowing that they will mostly be sight unseen … a rock muse of the 1960s London – possibly ‘See Emily Play’ … to world renown sculptress looking to remind us … that all parts of our planet need our protection …


Her website is so well worth reading, while her sculptures are just staggeringly amazing … please, pretty please look!


Emily Young - see some of her recent sculptures, and about this project ... (as I've described above) please look to see why I was hooked!

Emily Young Wikipedia

Bowman Sculpture - who represent Emily ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher 
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

51 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Goodness, what an interesting and unusual way to rescue the ocean’s life!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Hell Hilary: Thanks so much for introducing us to Emily Young and her truly amazing project. I am moved to tears by this act of generosity and foresight, and it is somehow the most fitting way that I can imagine to effect restoration of the sea floor after the rapacious acts of these trawlers, where short term profit is the only goal. It never ceases to confound me how much greed has motivated, and continues to motivate, human actions. Perhaps other regions of the world can follow suit and we may begin the long and arduous process of healing Gaia. Bravo Emily!

Debbie D. said...

Wow! That is so incredible and impressive. Thank you for introducing us to this wonderful artist, Hilary. I will absolutely visit all the links you have shared here. Talk about saving the world!

Joanne said...

absolutely amazing. What a thoughtful way to use her art for betterment of the world. You dredge up the most interesting folks to feature.

Murees Dupè said...

A brilliant project. Those artists are beautuful human beings for sharing their art to help marine life. The dedication and time they put int their pieces, just to sink it in the ocean, shows how much they love what they do.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Thank you for bringing this interesting and important project to my notice. I can think of plenty of other things that could have been put in the sea rather than sculpture though.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Somehow this seems to me to be the greatest expression of art - that it serves a purpose beyond the purely commercial. Thank you for introducing this to us - what a mighty fine human is Emily! YAM xx

Rhonda Albom said...

Good idea to sink significant items on the seabed in order to give sealife a place to grow. Many decommissioned old steamers have been sunk in NZ as breakwaters for anchorages with the side effect of providing breeding areas and protection for sealife.

Liz A. said...

That's a different way to fight against commercial fishing. Creative.

Elephant's Child said...

What an amazing, talented and ethical woman. Many, many thanks for the introduction and the links.
Like David my eyes leaked a bit. I do hope her example spreads and the greedy destruction can be stopped.

M. Denise C. said...

This story is fascinating, Hilary. What a great way to save the marine life.

BWitzenhausen said...

Wow! Brilliant! Emily is a true artist, creating for the betterment of the environment is incredibly powerful! Thanks so much for sharing and for being a part of #WATWB!

Chatty Crone said...

I did not know the ocean floor was being ruined like that and I did not know that he was being helped by these wonderful people. We have to take care of it now - before it is too late. Think about the future!

Janie Junebug said...

May God bless Emily Young! How very kind, generous, and brilliant she is. Thank you for telling us about her.

Love,
Janie

Susan Scott said...

Wonderful post Hilary - a truly creative act with loving purpose.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue – I was totally bowled over in reading about her … and realised it was a totally different approach to art, as well as help conserve the Ocean floor …

@ David – well this is one great comment! Her concept, inspired, by Paolo, will offer much to that part of the coast – more tourists … snorkelers, divers, fish for the locals and businesses. This art project also draws attention to the wider threat of overfishing … I totally concur with you: Bravo Emily!

@ Debbie – so pleased you will be or have visited the sites I linked … the project is just wonderful, while her art is simply stunning – and I love the connection with geological time …

@ Joanne – I so agree … just incredible to find out about. Thanks re the ‘dredging’ tie in … I try and find interesting and informative articles/ ideas …

@ Murees – helping marine life and those living along this coastline is such a worthwhile project. Her passion, and that of her fellow sculptors in the project, really shines through … just like you said …

@ John – I know one wonders about the art being lost … but it’s there for millennia and could be found as an archaeological artefact in due time. As Rhonda mentions below – other ‘things’ have been used to regenerate life on the sea floor … I just loved the link across geological time … and noted the power of political art – both making statements for today, the future and what life was like in the past …

@ Yam – yes you’ve nailed it: the greatest expression of art … that serves a purpose beyond the purely commercial. I agree Emily Young is continuing on her work in the likeness of her family … per pedigree shines through … let alone her raw talent.

@ Rhonda – yes lots of other ideas and things have been used to regenerate life on the sea floor … here she is using the power of political art to do so; while reminding us that the Carrara marble used was made in geological time – as her works reflect … they will be there for future generations to find – archaeological artefacts …

@ Liz – Isn’t it a wonderful way to add interest to the area, while protecting that part of the coastline …

@ EC – The project sort of beggars belief doesn’t it – yet shows her passion in her art, as well as the concept of art in geological time … protecting Gaia.

It seems more is being done to protect the various coastlines … so damage to the seafloor and marine life can be allowed to regenerate … while the power of art just sets an example here …

@ Denise – I was blown away reading the article and then seeing more of her work – it’s truly beautiful …

@ Belinda – I know extraordinary artist … so in tune with life – then, now and for the future. I just loved her concept.

@ Sandie – so much is happening to our oceans, they are in dire straits … while Emily is certainly highlighting the Tuscan coastline: talented sculptress …

@ Janie – I just loved finding out about her … and am so glad she’s here on the blog!

@ Susan – so true … she is one talented lady … but using her skills to better others’ lives …

Thanks so much – I do hope you’ve all, or will, check out the links … her work is worth knowing about, and seeing … love the phrase her art covers ‘geological time’ take care and have a good week – cheers Hilary

Rhodesia said...

Great post and so interesting. What a talented person and all to such good use. Have a good week, Diane

Dan said...

That’s a great story and a wonderful idea. What a genuine offer for the environment - both the raw material and the finished art. Thanks for adding this story to WATWB

Jo said...

That's incredible that she allows her sculptures to be used in such a way when a block of marble, uncarved, does the job just as well.

Interesting post as usual Hilary.

Jacqui Murray said...

That is an awful way to fish! Kudos to those trying to stop it. I can't believe there's not some UN law or national law that prevents it.

Anabel Marsh said...

I looked at her site - that is so interesting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - thank you ... I like to put 'the basics' down so it's here when I want to remind myself. She must be an amazing woman ...

@ Dan - yes the fact they're using original carvings out the donated Carrara marble is quite amazing ... it's her interpretation of deep time in geological terms - I love it .. makes me smile thinking about it. Thanks .

@ Jo - it's the concept of thinking deep into time ... using the marble - which was transformed in the Early Jurassic period (190 million years ago) ... when large parts of northern Tuscany was flooded; lime sediment was deposited on the sea bottom and then formed a carboniferous platform.

High pressure then fundamentally changed the crystalline structure of the rock ... the lime turning into marble ... From the carboniferous platform, which had been folded several times as 'plastic' made by very high pressure, arose the complex geological structure of today's Apuan Alps - one part of Italy's mountaineous region.

It's translating art into an artefact for the future ...

@ Jacqui - the destruction that illegal fishing causes is awful. There are laws ... a lot of them ... UN, International and European ... sadly people don't comply or can understand the why we need to protect the environment in all its forms ... on land and in sea, also in the air ...

@ Anabel - great that you looked her site up - she's a fascinating person with that pedigree behind her ...

Thanks to you all ... so pleased you've enjoyed finding out about Emily and her sculptures ... cheers Hilary

Vallypee said...

How wonderful, Hilary. A truly altruistic and selfless piece of creative generosity. I love the message they are sending to the world.

D.G. Kaye said...

Such an interesting post, not to mention an interesting way of fishing! Great share Hilary :)x

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I found this really interesting as I knew none of this

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Val - I was fascinated by her approach to her work and then this take on conserving that part of the Tuscan sea floor for the centuries ahead ... thanks for your apposite comment ...

@ Debby - the commercial trawling of seabeds destroys so much sea life, while also leaving a barren area so there can be no regeneration for many years ... so definitely not the way to fish ...

@ Jo-Anne - that's great ... glad you picked something up from the post ...

Thanks to you three ... lovely to see - cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

Having read your fascinating post I'm really keen to learn more about Emily Young and her work. I have a vague connection to the Chelsea School of Art where she studied, and I visit Salisbury Cathedral quite often which is where a piece her work is displayed. Another gem Hilary!

Fil said...

I love this story Hilary - what a fantastic idea ... it could be used in many places where the sea bottom is trawled - near us the shore is covered in cut seaweed from the mussel boats that just drag their nets along the bottom.

retirementreflections said...

This is such a creative and courageous act of selflessness. Thank you for this thought-provoking and inspiring post.

Lynda Dietz said...

What a neat and natural way to help the marine life! And her gallery of sculptures is gorgeous. Thank you for this feature on this month's WATWB, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - oh that's excellent to read and at some stage I'll be fascinated to hear what you've found out about her. I'm glad your connections run deep: Chelsea School of Art and Salisbury Cathedral ... while the Tate is easy to find ...

Another gem: a good description for this post - thank you!

@ Fil - she is one creative lady, let alone aware of conservation - mind you ... her pedigree takes her in that direction.

Sad to read that they're mussel trawling like that in your bay areas ... actually that used to happen off the Eastbourne coast in the 1800s ... the seas were depleted then. I'm sure they've considered putting barriers into the waters ... I wonder if the mussel farming is of great benefit to the local fishermen ... and that's the reason they let it happen ...

@ Donna - thanks so much for coming over ... your Italian pilgrimage journey has been a wonderful read.

I'd rather wanted you to see her work in Siena - but realised you'd moved on by then ... but that was why I posted that particular sculpture, and I loved the geological element aspect of it ... so beautiful.

@ Lynda - so pleased you looked at her web pages ... her work is so fascinating and stunningly beautiful to see ... while the artefacts waiting to be discovered in millennia when the sea-floor rises once again.

Great to see the four of you ... and thanks for your wonderful appreciative comments - cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

The damage we're doing to our seas (and the rest of the planet) is tragic – but it's heartening to see how well they can recover if given a chance.

Deborah Barker said...

What an amazing thing to do and how sad that unscrupulous fishermen have destroyed so much. I can certainly see why you have been hooked Hilary. I have just been looking through the gallery (the video was lovely to see by the way). I am now in love with those stone sculptures - the colours, the smoothness and the contrast, don't you feel you just want to run your hand all over them so that you can feel the way the stone moulds itself to a face? Thank you for transporting me to somewhere new Hilary :-) X

mail4rosey said...

She is living a dream life...a home in London and Tuscany, and still making sure to travel more, just the same. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That is amazing. What a terrible, selfish, and short-sighted bunch of fishermen. Poachers of the seas.

Stephen Tremp said...

Well here's a big shout out to Emily and her companions. I hate waste and there are other ways to target specific fish and catch them but with some people it's all about the money.

Lynda R Young said...

What a marvelous thing!! Practical art making the world a better place, in more ways than one.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - the damage we've done and continue to do is just so sad ... yet the planet will survive, whether humanity will is another matter; sadly leadership is needed ...

@ Debbie - unfortunately so many commercial fishermen are just following instructions and don't think about the damage being done. A job is a job ... no need to worry about what else happens along the way ...no thought, no common sense - sadly it's happening everywhere ...

I'm so pleased you looked at some of her work, and read up about her - and then saw the video of one her sculptures being dropped into the coastal waters. Yes - I have to get up to see her sculptures outside the Tate Modern ... and perhaps visit Bowman sculpture ... now when I hear the phrase 'deep time': I recognise the geological link ... and yes I'd love to feel the stone moulding into a face. So glad you enjoyed the post and being introduced to her work ...

@ Rosey - she works hard, her sculptures are appreciated and she's found a way to help that part of the Tuscan coastline ... and she can inspire others ...

@ Susan - thank you ... sadly our seas are being pillaged and ruined, as much as our lands ... but isn't her work and idea amazing ...

@ Stephen - thank you ... I know waste is terrible - sadly commercial fishing these days does not discriminate - it just takes all and doesn't worry about the destruction that causes ... similarly to our earthly ventures ... as you say: money counts.

@ Lynda - I just thought it was wonderful ... and knew a post was appropriate - so thank you for agreeing with me and for the comment about practical art making the world a better place, in more ways than one - I so agree.

Thanks so much - delighted you're all agreeing that this is an amazingly philanthropic art project ...

Happy 4th July (USA) and what was 1st July (Canada) days - here's to a peaceful and sustainable future - cheers Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

Living by the coast, I understand how delicate the ecosystem is. We had a shark very close to shore recently and everyone was freaking out. They got on the news and said this was a good thing. It meant the ecosystem in our area was exactly where it needed to be and reminded everyone that it was right as the sun was rising: feeding time for them, not swimming time for us. A bit off topic :)

Elsie

Sandra said...

What a wonderful, worthwhile project.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie - that's excellent the ocean is in good shape wherever you are ... the east coast I think. It's great to know you have sharks in the waters coming in near the coast ... and happily feeding - I guess swimming could be a challenge at times ... but long live nature! - so not off topic ... an interesting addition ...

@ Sandra - many thanks: it is a very worthwhile project ...

Happy 4th of July to one and all - cheers Hilary

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

I can certainly see why you are a fan! Her work is gorgeous and what a way to help the planet! I admire her so much!

Thanks so much for sharing such interesting and inspirational posts. I ALWAYS learn something fascinating from you every time I visit!

Julie Flanders said...

Oh wow this is amazing! I have never heard of anything like this before. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Michael - I was amazed when I read about her and then started looking at her work ... just love it and her reference to 'deep time in geological eras'. I'm delighted that you enjoy visiting ... that's my aim ...

@ Julie - so good to see you around again. I hadn't heard anything like it ... so just felt I needed to post - and this is where the #WATWB comes in ... such a handy tag to write to ...

Great to see you both - all the best with your goals - cheers Hilary

Hels said...

I have two vested interests in this story.
A) As an (out of date) Bauhauser, we should always remember that every art object should be made with functionality in mind... before form. And
B) The world is becoming less meat eating and more fish eating. We need to look after the fish world.

A Cuban In London said...

Gorgeous and informative post, as usual. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Inger said...

You always find so many intriguing things to write about, but I think this is one of the truly great ones. What a brave and noble thing she does, this sculptor. I would love for this story to become prominent here in the US. We need to hear that money isn't everything.

Denise Covey said...

Hilary, what an amazing sculptor! I was fascinated that she's so selfless that her beautiful art is being used for a purpose yet remains unseeen. I was fascinated that marble from the renowned Carrara (Tuscan) Quarry has been donated to the sculptors. That is so awesome! It's shocking that this practice is still going on and leading to degradation of the sea bed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels - it makes sense to make an object functional ... as the Bauhauser ones were ... thanks for reminding us about this aspect of art. We just need to protect our seas against unscrupulous commercial fishermen ... as we all love fresh fish and before stocks are completely depleted ... and as you say we are eating less meat.

@ ACIL - thank you ... I'm looking forward to seeing her work at the Tate ...

@ Inger - I'm just so pleased friends here have enjoyed reading about her and her work. She works in the States too ... like you - I just enjoyed finding out about her stunning sculptures ...

@ Denise - it is extraordinary she's going above and beyond to help the Tuscan coast ... what I particularly liked was the implication that her art would over millennia become artefacts ...

... to be found as geological time shifts the tectonic plates and the crust of the earth, as we know it now, changes as planet earth evolves ...

Thanks so much ... it's been so interesting finding out about Emily and her sculptures ... and in the process reminding us about 'deep time' over the life of the earth ... have good weekends - cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

I've missed reading your posts, Hilary!
Love finding out about another artist named Emily, to add to my collection of artists and authors of that name.
See Emily Play is a lovely song :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - so glad I can add to your Emily list! Your little soul will be delighted to have all your recollections about other Emilys in history - of varying sorts ... literature, art, music, sculpture etc ...

Emily play - the song is a delight isn't it ... cheers and thanks for visiting - Hilary