Shorelines,Sharks,Project Aware, Flooding and my city.
I live in a city called Hull, it’s on the east coast of England it’s geographic co/ordinates are 53.7676N 0.3274. Hull my home city has a long History connected to the Sea as it used to be a thriving whaling industry which saddens me slightly Hulls whaling fleet was the largest in the world.
My Home city was also a large fishing city which actually dates back to the 12th century. Lots of years ago when the fishing thrived trainloads of fish would go from Hull to London to Billingsgate Fish market. I also had family members who were part of the fishing industry an industry with many challenges men had to endure. Fishermen would get lost at sea it was deemed a dangerous occupation.
On the 10th November 2020 I was lucky enough to be invited on a zoom meeting the new way to do things now because of the current state of the world dealing with the pandemic, which is having many different affects on peoples lives , very difficult times in the way everyone has to go about their business now, humans not interacting as we used to which us as a species is difficult because we are a social species.
The meeting was for me to discuss ideas and let them see and for me to show them my passion for our oceans, environments and planet on a whole. The Shoreline project is a city wide community Art project it’s about helping people understand about climate change and what it means for Hull if sea levels continue to rise as you see my city is actually below sea level. It’s about getting the community engaged help them see that their voice matters and each person can make a difference by using Art to open peoples eyes. Shorelines, climate and flooding is all connected to the ocean but I wanted a more in depth feel how to connect it all together in the Art mural for one of my passions is sharks, the most misunderstood, the animal that is least educated about and feared on the planet, by connecting the land and the sea with the eco-systems in the oceans we can portray the wildlife’s problems also that it affects their world as much as it does ours.
We made a plan of what we were going to do pushing all our passions together, after explaining the passion for sharks and the global challenges sharks face all over the world we agreed they must be in the mural, My hope also was to connect The shorelines project to the diving world of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Project Aware, and the Shark conservation charity’s working to raise awareness to protect Sharks and give people a better understanding of this wonderful creature that roams our oceans. As a scuba diver and passionately wanting to protect our oceans I am lucky enough to have a connection with Project Aware which is a global community of divers and ocean lovers raising awareness for our Blue Heart which involves underwater cleans, raising awareness for all marine animals and pushing for change on a global level.
Dive Against Debris
On Friday the 8th January i received an exciting email to join a zoom and so I did. All of us full of excitement as Shorelines wanted to proceed with the mural straight away excited beyond belief it was going to come to life and I couldn’t wait. We organised to meet up on Wednesday the 13th at the location were the mural was going up. On arrival The artist Calvin Innes had already started it and it was already coming together, it was going to be FIN…TASTIC. 🦈
The photo above is on arrival, Calvin had to paint this mural backwards from the inside out so it clearly indicates his talent.
In Summer of 202O I teamed with Scuba Dream at Eight Acre Dive site, my friend and who taught me to dive said they wanted to get more involved with Project Aware, they already were a 100% aware dive site but just didn’t have a person that could dedicate time into it and it felt perfect for me doing what I love been connected to the underwater world. People who haven’t dived or not seen or don’t know how to appreciate the underwater world ask why do you dive? What is it about diving that it pulls you in? Well really diving for me is an escape, it’s a place I can forget who I am, once my head has gone under the water I’m no longer Nicky I’m lost, I’m at peace in a busy place. It’s hard to believe your actually breathing normally but just making bubbles as you drift along, feeling like your just in the middle of a watery space it’s one of the best feelings and I love it, Jack Cousteau the legendary Ocean Giant said “The sea once it casts its spell it pulls you in to its net of wonder forever” and she truly has. The sea to me is Nature in herself she is the giver of life without the water, life on earth couldn’t exist, she makes the land and she can take it away, she is the planets largest eco-system full of wonderful and weird creatures, the largest animal on the planet lives in the ocean The Blue Whale. Our oceans are literally in peril faced with endless challenges, the cities that are near the Oceans now face fears like flooding and sea level rise one been my city, climate, ocean warming, flooding, plastics, fishing, protecting the marine and wildlife as the Mural says “All is connected no one thing can change by itself” you change one thing or remove one thing it has consequences in the next and this is the big thing that needs to be highlighted if you live 1 mile or 200 miles from the sea you Are connected to it, we need her all of us do Human and Animal.
As the day went on it was exciting to go back to see each new look and Calvin was working really hard to get it finished. He had a goal to finish it in that one day.
Later in the evening I couldn’t resist going back to see the finished piece and feeling quite excited my parents came along to have a look, the minute I saw it on arrival it completely blew me away, to stand in front of something we had only talked about a few months previous seemed very surreal, been part of the project felt very humbling.
I can’t thank The shorelines project, Rights Community Action, and Drunk Animal Creative studio enough for letting me contribute to this Mural and my hope is it sends a message out that we really need to protect our Oceans, environments and our planet if not for us but for the next generations coming through. My other hope is that putting Sharks in the Mural can let people make their own decisions, educate theirselves and give these animals a chance and the respect they deserve.
I was able to take my grandson to look at the mural, it’s his future that I want better than it is now, give him and all the other youngsters a better world, a world of magic and wonder to be able to see some of the amazing things that are out their, not wanting things to be a distant memory and they have to search the internet to see what something looks like, my favourite part of the mural is the sharks.
So with this been my favourite part it felt right to get little fish in.
There are many things you can do as an individual but mostly use your voice. Also you don’t have to be a diver to protect the underwater world or protect its many delicate animals that need our help more than ever.
The Shark Trust
Project Aware, PADI, PADI Torchbearer Community.
Team shark water
These are just a few you can get involved in or contact me which I’m always happy to help. We are all on this planet together and we each have a responsibility to change things for the better