THE GREEN TIDE

passante
LA MARÉE VERTE

pen and watercolour on paper
2008 - 395 x 275 mm

Everyone in Bretagne remembers the words Amoco Cadiz, Erika,...,names of petroleum tankers that ran aground and polluted the sea and the coast with their sticky and poisonous oil. Every human soul felt the sickening anger when they saw the photographs of those dead or dying birds smeared with black gold, not to speak of fish and other living creatures of the deep, or of the cancerous effect on all living creatures, also on humankind.
But not many speak of the fact that too many pigs are being cultivated and that the excrements of these animals also end up in the water, causing the unnatural growth of green algues that suffocate all life. Beautiful to see and photograph, but o so deadly!
This is not only a problem in Bretagne, but a bit everywhere civilisation settles itself. I have been told by someone from Île d'Oléron that these green algues form a zone around the continent, and that in a way they protect the rest of the oceans against the organic pollution by civilisation. But that, when they dry on the coastline, they can be deadly because of the sulphuric gasses they create whilst decomposing.
This moves me so deeply that I decided to try and draw what I felt (feel) on the subject. Everything in this work is sick and the face of the green tide is uninterested and dull.

What can be more repulsive than people who only think of their own profit? Who want more and more and more? Makes me think of Wagner's Alberich... George Frederic Watts called it " Holy Mammon - Divine Respectability - Sacred Dividend " .
One cannot halt progress they say, but progress, in my opinion, is not always a straight line, and it's a good idea to follow the bends in the road, even more when there are ravines on either side.

On the other hand: those algues are beautiful to photograph. Just like the traces left behind by that sticky oil... Yet this is a beauty I'd gladly sacrifice to help Nature find her balance back.