36" X 48" oil on canvas
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The story point ...
In 2019 more than 140 Grey whales have washed up dead on the beaches of the west coast of North America. Scientists say that about one third of the dead actually make it ashore, so potentially we're talking about a number greater than 400. The cause is still unclear, but there is likely more than one ... climate change, loss of food, plastic pollution, phantom fishing gear, Fukushima, sonar blasts, ship strikes ... on and on, with one common denominator ... us.
We watch the whales. Their immense size in such contrast with their gentle demeanour makes them a favourite. But I suspect this is not about the whales, they are merely a bellwether for the state of marine life. Whales are big and heavy, but they are apex creatures at the top of the food chain. Systemic problems don't start at the top. Here's an amazing fact ... one third of the total weight of all life on Earth is microscopic, the base of the food chain on which all life depends. That's where the troubles begin to trickle up ... or is it down.
Writing has long been a integral part of Mark Heine's creative process. In the pursuit of his original artistic voice, Mark's writing has evolved to become the driving force behind his work and has led him to envision a world of his own creation. Sirens, the culmination of 35 years exploration, is inspired by the sea-nymphs, made famous in Homer's Odyssey. These underwater visions of mythological muse are rooted in the moments of an ongoing and developing fictional narrative. This complex narrative, involving human evolution and our natural environment, is the unifying conceptual thread that ties these surreal visions.
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