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15 metre long floating Sea Turtle launches undersea exhibition at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
A five-metre tall, 15-metre long inflatable sea turtle created by artist BJ Price is towed around Sydney Harbour past the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House to celebrate the opening of the World’s First Undersea Art Exhibition at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium on August 15, 2014. The floating sculpture named the Alpha Turtle will be berthed at Cockle Bay next to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium announcing the opening the Undersea Art Exhibition from August 12 to September 11 featuring a collection of BJ Price’s abstract paintings submerged in the underwater display tanks. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS.

SYDNEY.- A huge 5 metre tall, 15 metre long floating Sea Turtle sculpture has today impressed onlookers as it cruised past icons such as the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge into Cockle Bay.

The turtle - which will take residence floating in Cockle Bay for the next month - has arrived to celebrate a new underwater art exhibit unveiled at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium; Undersea Art Exhibition Sydney.

Abstract expressionist artist BJ Price will display a collection of his paintings inspired by a career diving on the Great Barrier Reef at the aquarium from 12 Aug to 11 Sep ’14.

The monumental turtle sculpture, which will no doubt catch the eye of all those who visit the precinct, is named ‘Alpha Turtle’, and is emblazoned with BJ’s black and white masterwork Alpha.

BJ says, “The Alpha Turtle was a huge hit at the World First Undersea Art Exhibition, Great Barrier Reef and I decided to bring him along to support our exhibition in Sydney. The Alpha Turtle brings the organic abstract style of my painting to everyone through wrapping a familiar shape - the shape of a sea turtle - in a complex design. As the giant Alpha Turtle floats upon the sea he opens peoples’ minds to innovative and creative ways of thinking”.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s Great Barrier Reef exhibit has been transformed into a thalassic art gallery with a stunning collection of single-edition prints curated amongst the aquarium’s diverse collection of marine species. This combined visual event celebrates the magnificent beauty of the undersea world and inspires creative contemplation of marine conservation and our relationship to precious ocean environments.

BJ Price gained international renown as the first artist to curate an art exhibition on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 2013. This landmark event saw coral gardens on Moore Reef off Cairns transformed into swim through galleries, capturing the imaginations of marine enthusiasts and art lovers from around the world. The Undersea Art Exhibition Sydney gives Sydney audiences a chance to share his artistic vision.

This unique event is a first for Sydney and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium with the exhibition displaying BJ Price’s dynamic and creative approach to education and marine conservation, as well as entertaining all those who love the undersea world. BJ Price has worked directly with the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium team of aquarists to ensure the artworks will be a stunning addition to the natural beauty of the aquarium.

SEA LIFE Trust Manager Claudette Rechtorik says, “Art is an effective engagement tool creating time and space for personal reflection. We hope that people take that opportunity to reflect on the beauty of what lies under the ocean, the species that call the ocean home, and to support actions to protect and conserve them into the future”.

SEA LIFE Trust, the not for profit conservation arm of SEA LIFE, which actively campaigns on issues such as shark finning, supporting turtle friendly fishing gear and implementing non-fatal shark mitigation policies. The Trust also contributes funding to a range of research and education initiatives such as shark and turtle tracking to learn more about how to better protect these endangered species.

Seven stunning paintings have been selected from across BJ’s collections, which have previously been shown in gallery exhibitions in New York and Sydney. BJ Price believes that the more people that experience the beauty of the reef, the more people will fall in love and want to protect it.

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