Barbuda NGO raises awareness of the ocean through art

This young art enthusiast was fascinated with this piece ‘Death of an Ocean’ by Onewayne Webber (Photo courtesy Pethrolynna Isaac)
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By Carlena Knight

With the world gearing up to celebrate World Oceans Day next week, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) brought some much-needed awareness to the subject with a drive-through art exhibition on Barbuda.

The event, which took place yesterday, was put on by the ‘BarbudanGo’ group and presented an avenue for Barbudan artists, the majority of whom were students at the Sir McChesney George Secondary School, to put their original pieces on display at the Fisheries Complex.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, visitors remained in their vehicles as they viewed the exhibits, each of which highlighted environmental concerns.

Esther Mussington, one of several artists who showcased their original pieces, poses with her ‘Protective Embrace’ creation (Photo courtesy Pethrolynna Isaac)

Pethrolynna Isaac, a director of the NGO with responsibility for environmental preservation, deemed the event a success because it “got the conversation started about the ocean”.

“It brought the community out. It exposed them to a new activity that they were very receptive to and we were actually encouraged to host a similar event next year.

“Throughout the day, you actually heard people engaging in discussions about the ocean and realising that we need to do much better, and even though we think we are doing good, we can do much better. So, the conversations that were stimulated is definitely what we wanted to happen yesterday,” Isaac explained.

She said it was also pleasing to give the young up and coming artists a platform to showcase their work.

“From that perspective, we were extremely successful because this is the first time that artwork has ever been exhibited and the community invited to observe the art and the artists were actually pleased.

“For some, they were amazed to see their work out in the open and see people engage with it. The event became a wonderful opportunity for them to see how they can use their craft when they apply it within the community. Providing that platform was a positive,” she added.

Isaac mentioned that being able to tie art with a worthy cause was a new experience for all involved.

With the success of this initiative, Isaac did indicate that the group will be looking at making it an annual event. 

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