Are you next? How many more deaths from tsunamis will have to occur before we realize something must be done? As our populations increase, so do our pollution levels – the result of which is deadly climate change. Over the last 50 years cyclones and tsunamis have claimed the lives of thousands. Although these events are usually attributed to acts of nature, in fact we have only ourselves to blame.

 

My canvas consists of a heavily worn surfboard I retrieved from Big Wave Bay beach in Hong Kong. I selected this board for its well-used appearance – chipped paint and old wax – because it reinforced the potential damage the ocean can inflict on humans and their property. However, a surfboard also portrays the possibility of human love and appreciation for the ocean. After all, surfers, more than any, build a connection and trust with the ocean as they learn to read and interact with the waves.

 

The scene on the board depicts a line of tsunamis coming towards an island where innocent individuals lie oblivious to what is approaching. The painted waves’ power is shown by their increasing magnitude and crushed mirror mosaic. Each wave grows in size, curvature and sharpness, with the increasing number of mirror pieces indicating the increasing destructive potential.

 

The black lettering across the board informs the audience of the past deadly tsunamis they may or may not have heard of. I dedicated the four waves to the 2004 tsunamis and their victims to honour the ten- year anniversary of the disaster.

 

The confrontational question directly challenges the audience to consider the global implications of climate change. Tsunamis can happen anywhere at any time, so look at your reflection in the mirror and picture how different your world would be if a tsunami hit you.

Are You Next? 

• Acrylics, Mirror, Paper tape, Sand, Clay, Miniature figures, Surfboard

45 x 166 cm

2014