Australia: Defending the Ocean (Ghost Nets)

The exhibition, presented in partnership with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, highlights the ecological disaster created by abandoned and discarded fishing nets off the coast of northeastern Australia. These “ghost nets” are a by-product of the commercial fishing industry: ghost nets drift on the ocean currents, trapping a rich array of marine life and eventually drifting to the ocean floor, suffocating marine animals and coral reefs and creating long term damage to the marine environment. Indigenous Australians were among the first to notice the devastating effects of ghost nets. Aboriginal artists from Pormpuraaw, Queensland, harvest ghost nets and turn them into delightful sculptures of marine life. Their artworks raise awareness about the environmental threat of litter in the ocean.