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Waves Of Change - Behind The Painting

CBC Atlantic is currently engaged in an initiative called "Waves of Change", which is an exploration of the impact of single-use plastics on our oceans. Part of this was a radio segment in which a journalist interviewed children about the issue. CBC chose one artist from each Atlantic province to create an original piece of work around this concept as well as inspired by the fresh & hopeful perspectives of the children's interviews. I was asked by CBC Atlantic to be the artist representing New Brunswick, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent my home province.

Inspiration Within the discussion of single-use plastics effects on our oceans, this painting was inspired by the question, “What are we protecting?”. When Children were brought into this conversation, their perspectives of the challenging problem we have at hand were so positive and hopeful. I was inspired to create a painting that felt uplifting and optimistic, as if the pages of a children’s book had come to life.

Like many others, when I consider the amount of plastic we habitually use in our daily lives and the toll we are putting into our oceans, I feel completely overwhelmed. How can we change when we are using plastic in every part of our lives? Where do we start? Is it too late? Plastic truly is everywhere, and it feels like such an impossibly enormous mission to take on. However, we witness seemingly impossible events in nature all of the time. The moon aligning so perfectly with the sun, turning day into night in matter of minutes? Impossible, and yet we are still enveloped by the impossibly dark, cold sky; and for that moment we nervously wonder to ourselves in silence, “will we ever feel the the warmth of the sunlight again?”. Just before we linger too long on the despairing thought, the sunlight bursts back out onto us in a joyous eruption; of course it would return, in fact it was always a certainty. This seemingly impossible moment of light was the catalyst for enormous change.


The light of the shifting eclipse is the moment that we as a society and as individuals decide to change, to take on this monumental task to better ourselves for our home. That moment of darkness would seem to last forever, but it was just a moment; We can overcome. Light from this collective decision rains down into true action. The waves of change occur, small at first but they become bigger and bigger, gaining momentum and become impossible to stop. The whales dance in the freedom of their home. They are aglow in the light of change, dancing in appreciation and gratitude for our decision to protect them. They are immersed in the seas of green that flow through the maritimes. These different shades of green represent the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy. Green is also associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment so fitting to this story.

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