Art and the Senses for Ocean Conservation

By One Ocean Hub Author Rose Boswell

“This paper considers the role of art in ocean conservation. Drawing on the presentations and work of two artists featured in the One Ocean Hub Art and Emotions webinar hosted during the UN World Ocean Week, the paper focuses specifically on the sensorial nature of art and of human beings and the role that art can play in advancing ocean conservation. The main argument offered is that ocean conservation plans and policies should consider the importance of humans to ocean conservation, the importance of human artistic endeavour to ocean activism and finally the importance of the sensory to human experience. Acknowledging and recognising the importance of human sensory experience in relation to the sea, can nuance existing discourses of ocean use and benefits, revealing human priorities and potential obstacles to conservation. Third, by leveraging human sensory expression through art, ocean conservation advocates may be able to refine and produce more effective communication for ocean conservation. Finally, recognising the sensory (and the artistic) is key to reorienting humanity as it enters a post-anthropocentric age, marked by dramatic ecological change…”