Meghan MacGillivray
Art exhibit shows that, though marine life has defenses against natural predators, it is helpless in the face of human threats.

Photos by Kimmy Helling.

Tuesday night's opening of “Ocean Armor” at the Aquarium of the Pacific was incredible. A Surfrider Foundation and Saatchi & Saatchi collaboration, the exhibit showed four life-sized sculptures of marine animals in full armor, highlighting the plight of sea animals which cannot protect themselves from human harm and the destruction of the ocean.


Ocean Armor can currently be viewed at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

We attended this exhibition to experience first hand the magnificent work created by artists and designers such as Greg Aronowitz and Bruce McCloskey, and to show our support for our partners at Surfrider.

The creators were on a discussion panel, along with Raymond Hwang and Surfrider Foundation Director of Communications, Matt McClain. Using visuals of the sculpting process and the finished results, the panelists described the ideas and feelings they sought to convey through “Ocean Armor”: Marine life is defenseless against man-made threats including pollution, ocean warming and over-industrialization.

A discussion panel featured, from left to right, Matt McClain, Raymond Hwang, Bruce McCloskey, and Greg Aronowitz (also shown in the background photo). 

“The oceans are in desperate need of stewards,” said McClain.

The extraordinary life sized sculptures depict a bottlenose dolphin, a red-crowned crane, a sea otter and several ocellaris clownfish. Each animal had a suit of armor designed in the style of various periods in history, such as 15th century European, Japanese samurai, and Bronze Age Greek.

Each piece was minutely detailed and beautifully crafted, giving the animals a sense of life and vulnerability. They truly make you hope that the message of ocean protection will be received, because unlike their sculpted counterparts, real marine animals are open to whatever harm comes their way.

As Greg Aronowitz stated, “We need to be the armor and we need to help the change.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Meghan MacGillivray, Kimmy Helling, and Sarah Bedolfe, attending on behalf of One World One Ocean. 


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