|Lidia the Seal|
Think about an unpleasant subject for a moment: the tremendous amount of trash, pollution and toxins that human activity is responsible for pouring into the waterways, lakes, bays and oceans of our world. It's enough to ruin your day.
When I want to feel most awful about it, I find something to watch about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Estimated to be twice the size of Texas, it's a swirling mass of mostly plastic refuse that makes up the largest garbage dump in the world -- floating in the northern Pacific Ocean. Something like this:
Thanks to the inspirational work of Pacific Northwest artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, San Diegans have a chance to learn about the crucial issue of ocean pollution in a somewhat less disgusting way. Well, let's say the end results of her work are less disgusting. Pozzi collects plastic ocean waste -- lots of it -- and fashions it into larger-than-life sea creatures representing species threatened by the very thing they are made of: the garbage we put into the oceans. That would be things like plastic water bottles, syringes, tampons, plastic bags, valve stem caps, condoms, expired credit cards, dental floss cases, pill bottles, and so much more.
I came across Pozzi's work at the San Diego Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier a couple of weeks ago after a scooter ride there with my friend Perv (known to some long-time Tea with Lemon readers) to catch some of the America's Cup action on San Diego Bay.
See the first work of Pozzi's that caught my attention after the jump.
|Tula the Sea Turtle|
|Yours truly under the Giant Jellyfish|
Impressive works, even without considering the profound environmental messages ingrained in their very DNA. As I got to know these odd creatures, an energetic, curly-haired woman approached me. I know women like this, I thought. Strong, resilient, creative, changing the world for the better. The Pacific Northwest molds such women. I know, because my wonder-sister Krista lives in Eugene, Oregon as a triumphant single mother, among all the other amazing women up there.
This woman, it turned out, was the artist herself. Pozzi delighted in observing my reactions to her creatures, and she delighted equally in sharing the meaning behind her works with me. I didn't have a notepad to jot everything down, but luckily I found a statement on her web site very similar to what she told me:
"I came to the ocean to heal, but like many people I walked with blinders on, bypassing the garbage, wanting only to see the ocean's beauty. When I finally stopped and really saw the debris on the beach, my heart and mind opened to the problem. I researched the effects of plastic in the ocean and the tragedy of animals suffering. I decided to take action ... artistic action. The problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is massive, so the artwork had to be massive in order to get the message across. This was the birth of 'Washed Ashore: plastics, sea life and art.'"
Just before we parted, Pozzi said "You gotta see Henry the Giant Fish!" He was a short walk away, over by the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. Perv and I had to get on our way, so we didn't get a chance to see Henry. But here he is at the artist's web site: Henry the Giant Fish. Pozzi had other gawkers to tend to, but not before I was able to snap a picture of her in front of her beloved Tula.
|Artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi with Tula the Sea Turtle|
|Until next Monday ...|