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Myth of the Mermaids. Greed vs Sacrifice
by Ella Schofield Lake
899
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http://universal-sea.org/top-100-artworks?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=1735
63
899
Title:
Myth of the Mermaids. Greed vs Sacrifice

Author:
Ella Schofield Lake

Description:
Myth of the Mermaids. Greed vs Sacrifice Intro/Background. Yes, we should blame the manufacturers that produce the harmful plastic, but in my opinion; the problem stems from somewhere so much deeper than the industry itself. The problem begins within us all, it begins with the consumerist nature of the human race. First and foremost, it is this boundless demand that must be tackled head on. I believe that we cannot create lasting change without confronting this fact this sense of materialism is ingrained within us all. The root lies within societies inherent need for MORE. This is where it has begun, and this is where it must end. Concept: ‘The Myth of the Mermaids’ is a Tale that I have written that explains this topic of limitless consumerism. This will be accompanied with my art piece - A large sculpture of a dead mermaid, sprawled across the floor. Her fish-tale made solely from single use plastic. In the exhibition, audience members will receive the myth in a booklet. They can read this as they stand over the Mermaid sculpture. The aim is that my concept will give the audience a palpable insight into the future. It should present them with some of the genuine implications we could in encounter if we do not change our behaviour, in a way which is both abstract and tangible. Sculpture: (See images attached) The length of the sculpture will be 3 metres wide. The upper, human, body will have a mesh wire frame, with a plaster of paris finish. Her skin will be painted grey, with a decaying feel. The fish tale will be made from a circular wire frame, with layers of scales mounted on the top. These scales will be made from single use plastics such as milk bottles, and painted with glass paints. There will also be LED lights hidden under the wire structure of the fish tale. Since the plastic will either be partially or entirely transparent, it will give the tail a beautiful glow effect. The Story: Similar to the ancient greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus: the moral of this story is about power, balance, ignorance, and the dangers of not knowing your limits. But most importantly; it’s about the implications of what may happen if concerns fall on blind eyes. This story is laden with symbolism in regards to plastic pollution / consumerism. The aim is that the tale will awaken the public to the damage of the ocean from a different perspective, a perspective that is both encapsulating and eye opening to what lies beneath the ocean, how we have got here, and how our mindset needs to change. I think the element of storytelling will be hugely beneficial. Narrative is a great catalyst of change because it opens up space for debate. It creates a context in which you can see the same issue for many perspectives and ultimately allows the audience to have a wider, more established understanding on a topic. It allows issues like plastic pollution to suddenly seem more tangible and concrete. Read the Myth: (Keep in mind that this is a 1st draft, it needs some editing and compressing. I am also open to changing large elements of the concept if necessary.) Thélo knew the depths of the ocean like it was part of herself. She was not only a mermaid, but the goddess of the sea so incontestably that every current was influenced by her movements. She held reign over the oceans for millions of years with a comforting consistency for all inhabitants. And although time did not pause, it was as if the oceans could stand the test of time. Thélo had unmistakable strength and intelligence, but much like other gods, she also possessed a power which hung so delicately on the edge of danger. A power that has boundless potential, but in the hands of just an inch of greed could have inconceivable consequences. Elenchos, both a great god and friend, had once warned her this - “You do not know the infinite possibilities that lay dormant at your fingertips. Like volcanoes, there is a dangerous fire within you that is hidden deep under the ground. Tread carefully, your decisions may cause exceptional destruction. And once this power erupts, it may change the face of the world irreversibly.” So merciless and vast, the oceans would not rest for man nor god, and at times, the reign of such a place could be unsettling. A place sometimes so cruel that waves could spit the souls of creatures in half. In despair, Thélo exclaims: “My people are suffering, what good is power without action?” and thus she called upon Próodos, the God of the Land, demanding a way to slow down the tempestuous force of the sea. Próodos grants her desire, entrusting her with a powerful synthetic substance. “I have made this substance from the land. When harsh weather arrives, it will float in the midsts of the waves and interrupt its vicious bite.” And thus, it did. Thélo, in awe of this foreign substance was compelled to uncover its value. Such a peculiar object, that something so devoid of any particular form or nature could be so fruitful for the ocean. She calls upon Próodos once more. “Próodos, what profound source did you grant to me?” Próodos answers - “It’s the power of synthesis. With synthesis, I can transform this unique substance into whatever form is most suitable for its purpose. The possibilities are endless.” Thélo desperately declares - “You MUST grant me access to this power of synthesis. The potential is boundless beyond man or gods limits and it must be mine.” Again, Thélos’s wish is granted, but she is warned that she must tread carefully. “This substance comes from the earth. As a Mermaid; a creature made from land and sea, your duty lies with both, and it must be known there is a delicate lines that is drawn between the two. Take care to not tempt fait too far. Nothing is truly boundless.” Thélo is engrossed with the zest of possibilities that lay before her. Boundless potential was so appealing it was almost a drug. The warnings she had once received seemed frivolous in the face of progression so beneficial that it could change the face of the earth forever. And with this, Thélo began to use her power to synthesise. It came to be that her power was useful to the ocean in infinite ways. The vast sea was no longer rippled with solitude, in its place was an intricate synthetic network for all that lived there. Thélo, witnessing its great qualities, created more, and granted the inhabitants use of this transforming substance. There was something so gratifying about the instant gratification of it, it gave a tangible sense of value to all inhabitants. Soon enough the sea was littered with orbs, squares and sheets of formless synthetic matter that subsided to the bottom of the sea bed like foreign corral that no longer had purpose. The sea has now changed color from blue to navy. From the top of the ocean the reminiscents of synthesis float aimlessly on the tops of the sea as they cast abstract shadows into the depths. Elenchos, the great god and friend, greets Thélo with a careful caution. “Is this for good or for greed? Look around. Your synthetic matter is like a landfill accumulating at the top of the ocean, your home is getting darker. Know your limits.” But the risks seemed a distant dream in the midst of instant gratification. Desire was a deep fog that that saw nothing but the present. As the years grew older, the sea was thickened with synthetic mass, yet the demand did not halt. Darkness engulfed the water like black ink. The God of the Land comes forth to Thélo in anger. “You are consumed by your power. Do you put so much value in the present that there is no worth in the future? Your temporary pleasure is the catalyst of infinite harm. Today is your sacrifice for tomorrow. Time is scarce” In a flick of a switch, the thought of sacrificing her luxuries seemed a small price to pay in order to stop the desolation of the oceans. It came to Thélo to use all the power she possessed to undo the harm she had caused. But greed is a bottomless pit, it doesn’t end and it is never satisfied. She had created something much bigger than herself, it worked like an addiction that infused the very foundations of her community. No god was mighty enough to defeat a force so convincing it was ingrained like a infectious disease in the minds of all that it had touched. “There is no time left, Thélo, the damage cannot be undone.” The sky darkened to a mercy black, as each bit of synthesis created floated to the ceiling like bubbles. It was as if at once, Thélos temporary desire was entirely worthless in the face of impending death. The ocean is void of life, nothing but a graveyard, a physical representations of the warnings she chose to ignore. As the last beam of light squeezes past the plastic, it all seemed so simple.
Description:
Myth of the Mermaids. Greed vs Sacrifice Intro/Background. Yes, we should blame the manufacturers that produce the harmful plastic, but in my opinion; the problem stems from somewhere so much deeper than the industry itself. The problem begins within us all, it begins with the consumerist nature of the human race. First and foremost, it is this boundless demand that must be tackled head on. I believe that we cannot create lasting change without confronting this fact this sense of materialism is ingrained within us all. The root lies within societies inherent need for MORE. This is where it has begun, and this is where it must end. Concept: ‘The Myth of the Mermaids’ is a Tale that I have written that explains this topic of limitless consumerism. This will be accompanied with my art piece - A large sculpture of a dead mermaid, sprawled across the floor. Her fish-tale made solely from single use plastic. In the exhibition, audience members will receive the myth in a booklet. They can read this as they stand over the Mermaid sculpture. The aim is that my concept will give the audience a palpable insight into the future. It should present them with some of the genuine implications we could in encounter if we do not change our behaviour, in a way which is both abstract and tangible. Sculpture: (See images attached) The length of the sculpture will be 3 metres wide. The upper, human, body will have a mesh wire frame, with a plaster of paris finish. Her skin will be painted grey, with a decaying feel. The fish tale will be made from a circular wire frame, with layers of scales mounted on the top. These scales will be made from single use plastics such as milk bottles, and painted with glass paints. There will also be LED lights hidden under the wire structure of the fish tale. Since the plastic will either be partially or entirely transparent, it will give the tail a beautiful glow effect. The Story: Similar to the ancient greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus: the moral of this story is about power, balance, ignorance, and the dangers of not knowing your limits. But most importantly; it’s about the implications of what may happen if concerns fall on blind eyes. This story is laden with symbolism in regards to plastic pollution / consumerism. The aim is that the tale will awaken the public to the damage of the ocean from a different perspective, a perspective that is both encapsulating and eye opening to what lies beneath the ocean, how we have got here, and how our mindset needs to change. I think the element of storytelling will be hugely beneficial. Narrative is a great catalyst of change because it opens up space for debate. It creates a context in which you can see the same issue for many perspectives and ultimately allows the audience to have a wider, more established understanding on a topic. It allows issues like plastic pollution to suddenly seem more tangible and concrete. Read the Myth: (Keep in mind that this is a 1st draft, it needs some editing and compressing. I am also open to changing large elements of the concept if necessary.) Thélo knew the depths of the ocean like it was part of herself. She was not only a mermaid, but the goddess of the sea so incontestably that every current was influenced by her movements. She held reign over the oceans for millions of years with a comforting consistency for all inhabitants. And although time did not pause, it was as if the oceans could stand the test of time. Thélo had unmistakable strength and intelligence, but much like other gods, she also possessed a power which hung so delicately on the edge of danger. A power that has boundless potential, but in the hands of just an inch of greed could have inconceivable consequences. Elenchos, both a great god and friend, had once warned her this - “You do not know the infinite possibilities that lay dormant at your fingertips. Like volcanoes, there is a dangerous fire within you that is hidden deep under the ground. Tread carefully, your decisions may cause exceptional destruction. And once this power erupts, it may change the face of the world irreversibly.” So merciless and vast, the oceans would not rest for man nor god, and at times, the reign of such a place could be unsettling. A place sometimes so cruel that waves could spit the souls of creatures in half. In despair, Thélo exclaims: “My people are suffering, what good is power without action?” and thus she called upon Próodos, the God of the Land, demanding a way to slow down the tempestuous force of the sea. Próodos grants her desire, entrusting her with a powerful synthetic substance. “I have made this substance from the land. When harsh weather arrives, it will float in the midsts of the waves and interrupt its vicious bite.” And thus, it did. Thélo, in awe of this foreign substance was compelled to uncover its value. Such a peculiar object, that something so devoid of any particular form or nature could be so fruitful for the ocean. She calls upon Próodos once more. “Próodos, what profound source did you grant to me?” Próodos answers - “It’s the power of synthesis. With synthesis, I can transform this unique substance into whatever form is most suitable for its purpose. The possibilities are endless.” Thélo desperately declares - “You MUST grant me access to this power of synthesis. The potential is boundless beyond man or gods limits and it must be mine.” Again, Thélos’s wish is granted, but she is warned that she must tread carefully. “This substance comes from the earth. As a Mermaid; a creature made from land and sea, your duty lies with both, and it must be known there is a delicate lines that is drawn between the two. Take care to not tempt fait too far. Nothing is truly boundless.” Thélo is engrossed with the zest of possibilities that lay before her. Boundless potential was so appealing it was almost a drug. The warnings she had once received seemed frivolous in the face of progression so beneficial that it could change the face of the earth forever. And with this, Thélo began to use her power to synthesise. It came to be that her power was useful to the ocean in infinite ways. The vast sea was no longer rippled with solitude, in its place was an intricate synthetic network for all that lived there. Thélo, witnessing its great qualities, created more, and granted the inhabitants use of this transforming substance. There was something so gratifying about the instant gratification of it, it gave a tangible sense of value to all inhabitants. Soon enough the sea was littered with orbs, squares and sheets of formless synthetic matter that subsided to the bottom of the sea bed like foreign corral that no longer had purpose. The sea has now changed color from blue to navy. From the top of the ocean the reminiscents of synthesis float aimlessly on the tops of the sea as they cast abstract shadows into the depths. Elenchos, the great god and friend, greets Thélo with a careful caution. “Is this for good or for greed? Look around. Your synthetic matter is like a landfill accumulating at the top of the ocean, your home is getting darker. Know your limits.” But the risks seemed a distant dream in the midst of instant gratification. Desire was a deep fog that that saw nothing but the present. As the years grew older, the sea was thickened with synthetic mass, yet the demand did not halt. Darkness engulfed the water like black ink. The God of the Land comes forth to Thélo in anger. “You are consumed by your power. Do you put so much value in the present that there is no worth in the future? Your temporary pleasure is the catalyst of infinite harm. Today is your sacrifice for tomorrow. Time is scarce” In a flick of a switch, the thought of sacrificing her luxuries seemed a small price to pay in order to stop the desolation of the oceans. It came to Thélo to use all the power she possessed to undo the harm she had caused. But greed is a bottomless pit, it doesn’t end and it is never satisfied. She had created something much bigger than herself, it worked like an addiction that infused the very foundations of her community. No god was mighty enough to defeat a force so convincing it was ingrained like a infectious disease in the minds of all that it had touched. “There is no time left, Thélo, the damage cannot be undone.” The sky darkened to a mercy black, as each bit of synthesis created floated to the ceiling like bubbles. It was as if at once, Thélos temporary desire was entirely worthless in the face of impending death. The ocean is void of life, nothing but a graveyard, a physical representations of the warnings she chose to ignore. As the last beam of light squeezes past the plastic, it all seemed so simple.
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