From afar it looked like a futuristic pod, dropped there at the bottom of a deserted Ocean. When I got closer I realized it was in constant movement, an incredible microcosm of life. The fish were tiny but represented most of the important reef species, the corals and the algae pulsing like thousands of miniature hearts. A moray eel came out in the light, blind and curious. One small planet is all you need to have life again.
If stronger action is not taken today, by 2050 the planet could lose its live coral reefs and with them a large number of the world’s marine species (United Nations).
Music credit: Bortex - Determination
The expedition leader said docking an iceberg was too dangerous as it could capsize at any moment. That’s what actually gives them such beautiful shapes, sculpted by the waves and the constant turtling. I was finally allowed 30 minutes. I quickly placed the seal sculls, borrowed from a Ukrainian biologist around the whale bone. When I finished my TimeShrine the wind suddenly dropped and the white setting sun radiated a golden light. Gold can make white blue.
In 2018, Antarctica has again shrunk to its lowest level on record. By 2100, global sea level rise could turn hundreds of millions of humans into climate refugees.
Music credit: Scott Holmes - The Edge of Nowhere
You feel lucky when you run into a starfish. I have always visualized them as solitary celestial creatures. Discovering an entire constellation was like finding a long-lost grail! They came to find protection in this marine park. Beautiful and lonely together.
Ocean acidification due to global warming could destroy 90% of earth’s Coral reefs by 2050.
Music credit: Oskar Schuster - Sneeuwland
Every time I look at the horizon on the Ocean I am inspired by beauty, adventure and hope. My journey to Raja Ampat heightened all these senses. Shells are perfect jewels, we should have kept using them as coins. I had so many within my reach, it was like contemplating a treasure chest of time and beauty. I could not leave the islands without honoring and recounting my seven seas.
I will not put wax on my sculptures to make them look perfect. We live in an era where only sincerity can save us. The faraway beach I chose was splendid but was also surrounded by a sea of plastic. I watched it come in with the tide, beating against the shore line, a muted message of the untold. I will not let go of my dreams but I will carry no lies. I want to share the beauty, but I also must show the ugliness.
One million plastic bottles are produced every minute: 91% of them are not recycled. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of all the people on earth (UN world Ocean day).
On this journey to remote Northern Lake Powell, every rock, inlet, and natural arch felt like a sacred Navaho site. Just before sunrise I gently picked up the drift wood, the rounded stones, the pebbled shells. I had brought an hour glass and a vanity. The flowers were right there, ready to ornate, the cow skull a curious pendant to my hourglass. When I closed the circle with the two ancient silexes, I felt I had started a new journey. The TimeShrine journey.
The cow skull serves as a reminder that cattle farming is a major cause of drought and pollution. It takes 2,000 litres of water to make one hamburger, and cows emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than all the cars in the world.
Music credit: REW - Big Fish and the Sirens Instrumental
The desert roses I placed around the camel bone are made of sand crystallised by the wind. A perfect and unique sculpture which would grow with time if left untouched. Because of the extreme heat and dry air the two glass bulbs of my hourglass broke apart that day. The ancient sand inside spilled unto the desert. The hourglass was empty when I photographed the TimeShrine.
By 2025 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world population will be living under water-stressed conditions.
I spotted the feathered branch, so intricate it would make any jewel pale in comparison. The purple soft corals an invitation to rest, grassland protecting the TimeShrine whilst softly embracing your every move. An impossibly beautiful dream where you can feel everything without ever touching, where you can see what you could never imagine, where you understand that it’s only through connectivity and diversity that you can achieve true beauty and life.
Coral reefs are often considered the medicine cabinets of the 21st century. They are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, heart diseases….
They are the first thing I saw underwater in Raja Ampat, a child’s dream at the bottom of the sea, the best omen for my trip. I came back for them on my last day, I could not leave without capturing their innocent message of hope and love. The powerful tide granted time for just one picture before pushing me over the TimeShrine. My hourglass broke in the process and I replaced it with another one. This cannot be broken time.
There are more pieces of microplastics in the Ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way (source: United Nations News).