BIJOU, Artists for Blue

London (UK)
06 - 10 November 2019

72% of our Blue planet is under water… and yet only 4% of it is protected. Around 90% of global fish stocks are fully or over-exploited and around 90% of large fish are gone. The consequences are far-reaching, because healthy oceans absorb half the CO2 we produce. With a mission for effective protection of thirty percent of the world’s oceans by 2030, BLUE is an ocean conservation charity dedicated to establishing marine reserves through creative solutions. BLUE is an exhibition that celebrates the achievements of The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) through extraordinary works of art. Artists from around the world have been invited to contribute works that touch on aspects of ocean conservation, with a particular focus on the High Seas (which cover forty-five percent of the earth's surface and absorb ninety percent of human-created heat).

Curatorial Statement by Nico Kos Earle

We are made from water, we come from water, and yet we know so little about what lies beneath our planet’s waves. This exhibition brings together the work of 32 artists whose practice reflects an ongoing connection to and observation of the ocean. They present a series of thought provoking and intuitive works across a wide range of media from bronze sculptures and oil paintings to cyanotypes, photograms and LED light-based works, generously hosted by artist and BLUE ambassador Andrea Hamilton. These artist highlight our fundamental relationship to this most precious of elements: water. Many live in coastal towns, and create works response to climate change and over fishing. Like BLUE, they have taught me so much about the ocean and given me renewed hope for the future through their tireless work. I hope you find joy in what they do, and are reminded that together, we can find solutions.

Energy and mass are created by purity. Bijou’s feet are embedded in the earth, in roughness and pure energy. Her head carries enlightenment and intellect. Her body is the conductor. Bijou is a fertility symbol. She is a rough diamond spat out by Mother Earth and Mother Ocean, who develops and starts to be a shining example. The creation of something new is engendered by enlightenment. Intellect combined with earth forms the connection to a new way of thinking. Bijou, containing all primal elements, is a crystallization of all life.
- Koen Vanmechelen