The Ocean In Us, August 16, 2011, Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, Canada


The Ocean in Us was an international exhibit connecting the themes of climate change, rising ocean levels, plastic pollution and body burden. Participating artists included international as well as local artists. Safe Planet launched the state-wide student art contest, Replace the Plastic Bag.

Body Burden, a short film directed by Howard Baral of Live Planet Aid, was discussed and other Safe Planet related shorts were screened. Safe Planet Happenings in Vancouver, Canada!

During July and August, 2011, the Safe Planet Campaign produced and entertained a variety of events to highlight the serious issues of plastic pollution in the ocean and other important global issues concerning hazardous chemicals and wastes as they affect our planet and our bodies. Via the arts and outreach, Friends of Safe Planet brought information and public awareness of our increasingly toxic body burden. Launching the events was the 5Gyres Institute, who welcomed the Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s arrival on July 27 from Hawaii aboard the research vessel Sea Dragon.

Anna Cummins, co-founder of the 5Gyres Institute conducted a beach cleanup with local FUN Camps kids (Friends Uniting For Nature) and spoke at an event at the Vancouver Aquarium about 5Gyre’s important research work surrounding plastic pollution in the oceans. Artist Barbara Benish of ArtDialogue in the Czech Republic conducted a workshop at FUN CAMPs, working with young students to create artwork from disposable items. Barbara and the Safe Planet Campaign also met with members of the Vancouver School Board Sustainable Team to create an exciting art contest that will continue throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Vancouver students will submit designs of reusable shopping bags to replace the plastic bag.

Culminating the Safe Planet Happening's activities was "The Ocean in Us," an art exhibition on August 16th at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. The exhibit included international and local Vancouver artists who connected the themes of climate change, rising oceanic levels, plastic pollution, and body burden. Exhibitors included local Vancouver artists Emma Fitzgerald, Francis Tiffany, Sonny Assu, Alexander Bell, Adam Dodd, and Neal Nolan, with international artists Manuel Mansylla, Barbara Benish, Jamaica Osorio, Dianna Cohen, Chris Jordan, Jason deCaires Taylor, Rahmin Bahrani, and Anila Agha. Other exciting activities during the evening included live music, DJ’s and dancing, organic food, silent auction, and special guest speakers, including Film and TV Star and environmental activist/actor Ed Begley Jr. Safe Planet's film Body Burden, directed by Howard Baral of Live Planet Aid, stars Begley alongside Stine Hattestad Bratsberg.

Event Organizers: Howard Baral and Neal Nolan

5Gyres Outreach: Anna Cummins

Exhibit Organizer: Barbara Benish