Volvo Ocean Race organisers hosted a beach clean on Lulu Island on 7th January 2012 with the collected rubbish becoming the raw materials for a sculpture that was to be created during the week at the Volvo Ocean's Race Destination Village in Abu Dhabi. Held in each host port throughout the nine-month, 39,000-nautical mile race, and in conjunction with art group Skeleton Sea, the Volvo Ocean Race spearheaded a call to arms to reduce pollution and share a simple message through its Keep the Oceans Clean! initiative.
More than 80 members of the Abu Dhabi community and Volvo Ocean Race family of all ages and nationalities participated in the morning beach clean along with local PADI 5 Star IDC dive center, Al Mahara Dving Center. The more adventurous of the participants were able to kayak or paddle-board out to the island where they collected rubbish from the shoreline.
Jacqui Smith, project coordinator for Keep the Oceans Clean!, said:
“It was fantastic to see so many people participating in the Abu Dhabi Beach Clean, showing the commitment we have to maintaining the natural beauty of our oceans and beaches. With the rubbish haul collected yesterday, our Skeleton Sea artist is well on the way to turning flotsam and jetsam into a stunning sculpture to be created this week (8-14 January) at the Destination Village Abu Dhabi. Adults and children alike can get involved in the artistic action by attending the art workshops where they will have the chance to make their own individual contribution to the unique installation.”
João Parrinha, Skeleton Sea artist, said:
“The beach clean was a great success, with lots of people turning up to help us collect the rubbish. We've been getting as much rubbish as we can so we can make a fish sculpture for display in the Destination Village. In the workshops we'll be making the fish’s scales with the kids. It's amazing to work with them: what they do and what they create is very unexpected and wildly creative. It's a lot of fun to work with them."
Rubbish and debris collected by the group went towards Volvo Ocean Race’s Keep the Oceans Clean! art workshop campaign, an initiative organised in collaboration with international artist-activists, Skeleton Sea. Beach rubbish, including old plastic bottles, wrappers and other beach trash plus weathered and dead materials, were brought back to life by the group to form skeleton-like art.
Three of Skeleton Sea’s fantastic sculptures were on exhibition in the Destination Village in Abu Dhabi until the end of the stopover on January 14. Parrinha, one of the Skeleton Sea artists who headed up the beach clean at Lulu Island, held the Keep the Oceans Clean! workshops on the beach in the Destination Village every afternoon between January 8-14.
On January 9 at 8pm, the artist gave a talk on the story behind Skeleton Sea - their background, the artwork and their values. There was an opportunity to watch the short film created by Skeleton Sea called 'Albatross Exhibitionist' which told the compelling story of the thousands of albatrosses that are killed each year because they fatally mistake floating rubbish for food.
The beach clean was successfully coordinated with support from Al Mahara Diving Centre, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, CNIA (Critical National Infrastructure Authority), Emirates Diving Association and the Center for Waste Management.
Great team work!!
Al Mahara Dive and Kayak Team