Australian Marine Conservation Society Launches ‘Fantastical Sharks & Rays’ Exhibition With Innocean

Sharks have a fierce reputation but a world without them is far scarier.

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Innocean Australia has again teamed up with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) to create an exhibition highlighting the silent extinction facing lesser-known Australian sharks and rays.

According to the campaign, the endangered species are so unique and live so deep beneath the ocean that minimal research or imagery of them exists. As part of the exhibition, the AMCS is asking Aussie kids to lend their imagination to bring these fantastical species to life through art of any form – except using AI.

The top entries will inspire artworks by 10 of Australia’s most iconic artists, including Ken Done, Jenny Turpin, Janet Laurence, Reko Rennie, Jonathan Zawada, Rosie Deacon, Sarah & Sebastian, Dion Horstmans and Blak Douglas. These artworks will be launched and showcased at the ‘Fantastical Sharks & Rays’ exhibition in the Australia Museum from August 2024 to January 2025.


 

This latest project continues the successful long-term AMCS strategy of inspiring the next generation of ocean protectors, while also engaging their parents.

As the campaign notes, sharks have a fierce reputation but a world without them is far scarier.

The project aims to challenge the reputation of sharks and rays as fearsome predators, fostering a new appreciation for their variety of species and fascinating characteristics; the likes of which might not be around for too long if commercial fishing continues at such scale.


 

There are 10 evocative descriptions to choose from to spark kids’ imaginations – such as the Lined Lanternshark, a tiny shark that can fit inside your palm! Living 800m deep on the seafloor, this very mysterious shark has light-emitting organs so it glows.

Artist Ken Done said: “This is a unique project and one that I am immensely looking forward to participating in. If it helps to protect some of the world’s endangered species, that would be a great achievement for us all.”

Dr Leonardo Guida, Shark Scientist for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, added: “We are excited to see the imaginative interpretations of these remarkable shark and ray species by the next generation of artists. The fusion of art and science has never been more important as a means to engage and empower the broader community to save our threatened species and ensure healthy oceans for future generations.”

Pamela Parrelli, Innocean Art Director, and Charlotte Berry, Innocean Copywriter, said: “Ocean conservation can be a daunting issue – until you start working with the creativity and hope of children. Seeing simple descriptions inspire artworks out of this world is a reminder of the power of pure creativity – far beyond anything a 25 character prompt could deliver in a few seconds. For every artwork, imagine the number of thoughts and conversations between children and parents over these sharks and rays – perhaps changing both perspectives for life.”

The competition is now open and submissions close 29 February, 2024.  The exhibition will open at the Australian Museum on 31 August 2024 until 26 January 2025.


Details on how to enter, along with the full list of endemic sharks and rays for artistic inspiration, can be found on the official competition webpage at www.marineconservation.org.au/FantasticalSharks 

Credits

Innocean Australia

CEO: Jasmin Bedir

Executive Creative Director: Wez Hawes

Creative Director: Effie Kacopieros

Digital Creative Director: Hannah Melanson

Art Director: Pamela Parrelli

Copywriter: Charlotte Berry

Design Lead: Michael Macgregor

Client Partner: Carolyn Cho

Account Manager: Ruth Murphy

Head of Production: Renata Barbosa

Producer: Natasha Downs

Editor: Dave Anlezark

 

Australian Marine Conservation Society

Shark Scientist & Shark Conservation Lead: Dr Leonardo Guida, PhD

Communications Director: Imogen Scott

Digital Content Producer: Jessica Walker

Media Advisor: Alex Tibbitts

The Humane Society

Communications Manage: Hannah Clayton

Marine Biologist, Spokesperson: Lawrence Chlebeck

 

The Australian Museum

Head of Exhibitions: Fran Dorey

Producer: Trevor Ahearn

Art Curation

Natalia Bradshaw

Arts-Matters

Website Production: Rockit Digital

Sound: Rumble

Retouching & Design: Wellcom

Special thanks to St John’s The Baptist School in Freshwater.

 

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