Colors of the Ocean - The South Sea diary

Artist Statement


At the sight of the sea, humans are fascinated by the size, wildness, moods and overall by its endless color palette, which it has to offer depending on light and weather.


In the Pacific Ocean, more precisely in Polynesia I tried to catch just this atmospheric color spectrum.


As details can distract from those magnificent colors I decided for my "South Sea diary" to go for a photographic imitation of blurred aquarelles. - The focus lies solely on the colors.


Some viewer will simply think, that harmonic pictures arose, on which one can find joy.
It is quite sufficient, to delight oneself on the coloring game, without making oneself complex thoughts. Just to fall in dreams...


However, this blurred form of presentation reflects something very specific form me: Shutting things out and turning a blind eye. Abilities, human can be champions in. It is comfortable, to enjoy oneself on beauty without having to perceive given problems.


In the same way, viewers cannot see from those blurred pictures that even around these remote islands garbage is floating in the sea.

This is not surprising if we are aware of the fact, that about 5 % of the approximately 300 million tons of yearly produced plastics end up in the oceans. It almost does not decompose and it becomes continuously more.


Animals starve as their stomachs are full with plastics, that they took for food but they cannot digest it. Every now and then turtles consider plastic bags to be eatable jellyfish. Wales perish because they swallow square-meter-sized plastic sheets. Jung seabirds are often too heavy to learn to fly as their stomach content consists of plastic particles. The absorbed phthalates increasingly often end up in the food chain of man and influence our hormonal balance, cause cancer as well as growth disturbance, fertility disorder or metabolic disease.


The beautiful colors of the pictures, emerged through light refraction in water, also hide the increasing often-occurring coral bleaching.


With this phenomenon, plant cells situated in the corals polyps loose its ability to photosynthesize. This is caused by increased water temperature. As a consequence, the host animal is starving to death and the coral loses its rich coloring, it turns white and in the worst case it dies off completely.
Notwithstanding a remarkable share of marine life is dependent of sound reefs and we as human beings exemplarily extract vital drugs in order to treat cancer.


These are only a few challenges we should not fade out any longer.

Sure, I am happy if the pictures simply tempt to dream, however I do further hope to inspire the one or the other mind to rethink or even to take action - for a future with health and clean oceans.


Jörg C. Roggenbauer