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New EMBracing the Ocean artists

Elise Guillaume and Ruwanthi Gajadeera have been selected as the two new artists for the 2024 - 2025 edition of the EMBracing the Ocean programme.

We are happy to announce the two new EMBracing the Ocean artists for the 2024 - 2025 edition of the EMBracing the Ocean programme. The committee have selected two 'emerging' artists for this years programme, whose projects demonstrate novely, strong collaboration with scientific collaborators, significant feedback to the science, and strong potential for impact. 

Elise Guillaume is a Belgian artist exploring the interplay of psychology, ecology and notions of care. During her EMBracing the Ocean residency she will create a sonic project that addresses the psychological impact of climate change and the therapeutic potential of Ocean sounds. The project will be in collaboration with Marine Severin (Flanders Marine Institute, VLIZ), a psychologist who researches the positive effects of coastal landscapes on mental well-being. They will create an evolving sound piece and will lead workshops where participants will engage with the piece and generate valuable data that will shape the soundscape’s final output, while advancing scientific research. In collaboration with acoustic ecologist Clea Parcerisas (Flanders Marine Institute, VLIZ), Elise will also investigate underwater noise pollution. She will use film photography to document the coastal landscape and the scientific recording processes and will develop the photographs using seaweed. The project aspires to inspire pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. The project is planned to be shown in various exhibitions.

Ruwanthi Gajadeera is an award-winning Sri Lankan sustainable textile and fashion designer. During her EMBracing the Ocean residency, she will collaborate with and be mentored by Sri Lankan marine biologist and Ocean educator, Dr. Asha de Vos. Their project is entitled ‘S. O. S. - Save our Seas’ and will explore the devastating legacy of the X-Press Pearl disaster on Sri Lankan marine life. They will work together to transform Dr. de. Vos' data and Oceanic heartbreak into a multi-sensory exhibition that ignites action and empowers individuals. It will be an immersive journey aiming to highlight the often unseen consequences of global trade and the impact of shipping on delicate Ocean ecosystems. They will bring this reality to life through textures, subtle scents, sound and heritage craft, with sustainable fashion at the core of the solution. The exhibition will begin with a jarring confrontation of a ravaged Ocean rendered in threads. Guided by Dr. de Vos' vision of marine recovery and hope, the artwork transforms, depicting a vibrant, healed Ocean teeming with life.

Find out more and stay up to date as their projects evolve here.