By Artist Timothy Johnston
A sold out solo exhibition, Empowering was created to encourage and inspire ordinary individuals to care deeply about our ocean and to connect more emotionally with its beauty and marine life. We all feel the healing power of the ocean, and TJ created these artworks with the desire to invoke these profound connections.
‘Timothy has seen his amazing ocean artworks attract global interest and has decided to harness this interest towards championing the Great Barrier Reef. Only 33 % of this incredible treasure is totally protected. Timothy would like to see twice that area proclaimed a no take area. Only this type of total protection can protect Australia’s world heritage reef and the millions of marine animals it supports into the future.’
– Valerie Taylor AM Exhibit Patron
A SHORT PARAGRAPH BY VALERIE TAYLOR
Our marine world is a precious gift. A gift from nature that sustains all life on this planet yet we treat it harshly. We pollute its waters and harvest its life without thought for the future or a care for the destruction we leave in our wake.
It is said you can’t miss what you don’t know. This is true. You can’t miss schools of fish that take 20 minutes to pass if you have never seen them or 30 silver tip sharks along a reef edge if they are no longer there. What I have just written used to be how it was.
The disappearance of these sights was fast. In 20 years, they were no longer a common sight in 50 they, like so much marine life we took for granted were gone.
The underwater world is still a unique and wonderful place. It offers the visitor adventure and excitement but if we continue to destroy this precious gift, marine life as we know it will cease to exist. A farmer reaps what he sows a fisherman just reaps. Marine animals are free for the taking the ocean a garbage tip for the world. Unless we change our destructive ways one day there will be nothing left to take just a poisonous polluted sea.
One of the up sides about being old is that I have known a world very different to the one we all live in today. I have seen our marine wilderness in its full glory untouched by man’s destructive ways. With my husband Ron I have slipped into virgin waters on far flung reefs where a kaleidoscope of colour and life dazzle the senses. I have reached out and touched the new, the undiscovered. I have had the best life of anyone I know.
When I see a young Australian like Timothy Johnston so sincerely concerned about the well-being of our marine environment, I want to help him, embrace him and his hopes for the future of our Great Barrier Reef. We need a million young people like Timothy who have the wisdom to look into the ocean and paint, photograph and write about our marine world bringing its wonders to the uninitiated. I have had my day. The future of our oceans is in the hands of the young and dedicated, the Timothy Johnstons of this planet.
Experience is a great teacher. We humans hold the future of our world in our greedy, careless hands and that means the future of ourselves.
I need say no more.
The Empowering ocean exhibition gave $10,000 towards different conservation projects, one being the Australian Leopard Shark Recovery Program near the Great Barrier Reef Qld, carried out in conjunction with
Conservation International. www.conservation.org
Sam Fricker, Founder of Sam’s Straws, was invited to share his journey at this event. We learned the story of his passion for eradicating single-use plastics in Australia. Sam is not only an Australian iver aiming for the Paris Olympics, but a TikTok Sensation with 1.2Mil followers. Sam is using his sporting platform to highlight the need for marine life protection. Please read his incredible story here on his website.