|These sculptures of mutilated, finless sharks are part of my BFA thesis. I became fascinated with these animals when I learned, horrified, that they are being killed for their fins, which, in turn, were cooked up in soups. Even more horrifying, however, was finding out that so few people were aware of or even cared about this problem. Indignant, I decided to combine my passion for these animals with my art.
My sharks are Frankenstein's monsters, stapled and wired back together so that they can barely function.
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I've chosen fabric as my main medium because it allows me to visually represent the decrepit and mutilated shark bodies.
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This is the terrible truth: Sharks are captured and their fins are cut off to be used as an ingredient in soups. Their mutilated bodies are then released because the shark meat is not valuable. Without their fins, however, the released sharks simply drown.
The shark fins actually have no taste but simply add a supposedly "pleasing" texture to the soup. The shark fin soup was a delicacy during the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368--1644). Since then, it has become a symbol of status and wealth.
As the Chinese economy and population grew, the demand for the shark fin soup grew as well. As a result, the finning of sharks has became a huge, and very profitable, industry. However, this industry needs to be regulated and these animals protected.
I want the viewer to walk away from my work understanding the reality of what happens out in the oceans. My sculptures almost beg the viewer to mentally answer the question: "How could one do this to a living, breathing animal?"
To learn more about my art, visit www.adanichdesign.com.
For information on shark finning, please consult the following books and Web sites:
Beer, Amy-Jane & Derek Hall. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Sea Life. Anness Pub. Ltd., 2007.
McCutcheon, Bobbi & Scott. The Facts on File, Marine Science Handbook. Checkmark Books, 2003.
Pernetaa, Dr. John. Guide to the Oceans. Firefly Book Ltd., 2004.
Rosenthal, Elisabeth. Stinging Tentacles Offer Hints of Oceans’ Decline. New York Times, 2008.
Scubazoo. Reef. Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2007.
Stewart, Rob. Sharkwater (documentary) 2007.
The Coral Reef Alliance
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The Shark Trust