This month I was honoured to be asked to be on the judging panel for the World Oceans Day Art Competition with the Pearl Protectors. Art is a great medium for sharing both a love of the ocean and to highlight the conservation threats facing it. It was so inspiring seeing the work from entrants age 4 and upwards and filled me with hope that there are so many young artivists in the making. It was a difficult job picking out a shortlist from the 140 artists who submitted work.
© Artwork by the Pearl Protectors 2022
Who are the Pearl Protectors?
"The Pearl Protectors is a volunteer-based organization that advocates towards protecting the marine environment of Sri Lanka. The initiative behind this organization is to create awareness of the imminent threat posed to the marine life, sea area and the beaches of Sri Lanka. The project also advocates individuals who are like minded in safeguarding the marine habitat of Sri Lanka while promoting sustainable, eco-friendly behaviours and initiatives to reduce the human impact on the marine habitat.
Started in 2018, The Pearl Protectors have engaged and conducted various advocacy and awareness initiatives to inspire Sri Lankans to protect the marine environment while becoming responsible citizens. We evaluate our projects based on the level of impact."
The competition was split into two age categories, under 18s and over. With the option to submit under the themes ‘Beauty of the marine environment’ and ‘Challenges of the Ocean’ which were judged together.
Open competition winner Nandali Pathirana
This winning entry by Nandali Pathirana shows a clear and striking message with this plastic reef. They have created a thought provoking concept and shown excellent technique with the texture of the bag and water - a highly deserved first place! With the wide age range the schools category was so hard to judge, 16 year old Narmada Bharathi was awarded first place with this vibrant reef scene.
Schools category winner Narmada Bharathi age 16
Here are some other entrants from the school category which show the amazing talent that was showcased this year. You can see the full virtual exhibition here.
© All art works are owned by their respective entrants.
Find out more about the incredible work by the Pearl Protectors and if you are local to Sri Lanka how you can get involved here on their website.