On 27 January, ‘Ocean Messengers’, an environmental arts collaboration project between Taiwan and the UK, was launched at the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth.
The year-long Ocean Messengers project is designed to educate and encourage school students from Taiwan and the UK to actively protect their coastal marine environments. Its launch was led by Scott Mann, the MP for North Cornwall and a member of the British Taiwanese All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), who attended the NMA with local school children and community figures to announce the start of the project.
In collaboration with Cornish environmental artist, Sue Bamford, and Taiwan’s National Museum of Marine Science Technology, the NMA will work with schools around the UK to crochet a giant model of the British coastal ecosystem for public exhibition. Sue Bamford will also visit Taiwan for three months to work with Taiwanese students who will crochet their own subtropical reef habitat. The artwork from British and Taiwanese students will then be exchanged, and exhibited in locations around the UK and Taiwan.
The project first developed from an art residency carried out by Sue Bamford in 2016, to celebrate the foundation of the first Marine Protection Areas in Taiwan, which will operate in a similar way to those in the UK. The collaboration will begin in February with a three month residency in Taiwan, before the focus moves to the NMA in Plymouth, with a series of events across British schools.