Science Meets Art.
As part of Creative Gippsland, 'Come and Play all of May' festival, Ray Dahlstrom with the help of workshop participants, created an environmental painting which is about the effect of our carbon footprint on the ocean. Ray explains, 'I love living near the ocean, but I worry about what humans are doing to it. Many people are now aware that plastics are very dangerous for sea creatures and any animals that eat them – and that includes humans. When I first moved to Inverloch, seven years ago, I was already worried about plastics, but knew little about ocean acidification, until I attended a forum which alerted me to how the carbon dioxide that we put into the air also affects the ocean, by turning it acidic. This is tragic for all sea animals with shells or bones and that is what our painting is about.'
Those who attended had fun blowing into test tubes to demonstrate that the carbon dioxide that they breathe out turns water acidic. Of course, it is not only our breath that puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; it is also the burning of fossil fuels and forest clearing. Participants traced around their feet to represent their carbon footprint and placed these on the painting. There was much discussion amongst the group as to the best placement of the footprints. Ray is now completing the painting, 'Our Carbonic Ocean', which he estimates will take about two weeks.