Artist Fiona Banner
aka The Vanity Press and Greenpeace have today deployed two Full Stop sculptures in the North Sea from the Greenpeace ship the Esperanza, as part of an action against illegal and destructive industrial fishing. The art action completes a new area of almost 50 square miles developed by Greenpeace to be off-limits to destructive bottom trawling.
The sculptures will live on the seabed in the Dogger Bank marine protected area, where Greenpeace investigators documented extensive illegal bottom trawling activity. Campaigners and the artist have pledged to remove the artworks if the UK Government makes a credible commitment to immediately ban industrial fishing from the Dogger Bank and all of the UKs offshore MPAs. The sculptures are given to the natural environment. Their currency is not found within the normal art systems of exchange but in their potential to act as agents for change.
The sculptures which form a series of three, and ellipsis, are carved from inert granite formed over eons, originally deposited across the North Sea. They reference vastly blown up full stops from different fonts: Klang, Peanuts and Orator.
On Monday, Klang was delivered to the doorstep of DEFRA in London, sending a clear message to the Government calling out their failure to protect Britains most sensitive marine areas - a call to stop, reconsider and act.
Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, said: The pandemic has made us more alert to the precariousness of nature, words like crisis and emergency have been repeated to the point of diluting their urgency, this work is a message - a call to stop, reconsider and act.
The Full Stop sculptures are symbols of language on the precipice, blown-up, made physical and confrontational, they symbolise an impasse and crisis in language. Seventy percent of the planet is ocean, it is our most critical ally in the fight against climate change. The seabed is invisible to us, if we could see what is being done to it there is no way we would allow it. The Full Stops will exist on the bottom of the sea, forming part of a barrier to bottom trawling. The sea bed is the bottom line.
Philip Evans, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: The sculptures symbolise our Governments abject failure to protect our most important marine habitats from destructive and illegal fishing. Marine protected areas like the Dogger Bank are protected in name only. Our boulder barrier will keep bottom trawlers out of almost 50 square miles of the Dogger Bank, but for our oceans to be properly protected, the Government must step in. We cant do it all. The Government should put a big full stop on destructive and illegal fishing in our protected areas, period.
The relevant marine authorities have been informed of the location of each of the sculptures deposited in the Dogger Bank to ensure safe navigation for all mariners operating in the area.