Mother Ocean is beautiful, wise, and powerful. We depend on her for our survival. 

We will explore this philosophy at the upcoming Mother Ocean Art Exhibition where I will showcase my photographs alongside my mother's ocean artworks at the Warringah Art Space 1-12 February 2017. 

When you walk through the exhibition space, we will take you on a journey to discover and reconnect with Mother Ocean. By personifying the ocean, we hope that it encourages people to think about how we need to transfer that same love and care we share with our families into our relationship with nature.

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As the saying goes, 'blood is thicker than water'. Just imagine if society changed its view to think of Mother Ocean as she truly is - our 'life blood', because she is a part of how we came to be. After all, all life originally came from the sea. The quest to protect our oceans is very much an extension of nurturing our heritage, and caring for the very thing that makes our existence possible. She provides us with the fish we eat and she is the largest carbon sink in the world.

This is why we will show vibrant underwater seascapes to celebrate her 'beauty' in the exhibition. In this section, we will show a painting by my mother of my coral photographs of Opal Reef while filming for the Australian Marine Conservation Society up on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia before the mass coral bleaching occurred last year. It is a poignant reminder of how our strong and resilient Mother Ocean is struggling right now, because of the pressures we are putting her under, such as from human induced climate change.

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Meanwhile, I have included an ominous photograph of a sandbar shark to showcase 'wisdom'. The ancestors of the modern day shark are much older than humans; they have been around for about 450 million years. However, because of overfishing, some species like sharks are struggling to survive.

You will also see a close-up portrait of a green sea turtle's face, which depicts the 'wisdom 'of nature dressed in her leathery skin, while her large dark eye acts as a window to her soul.

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The 'Mother Ocean is powerful' section, will showcase a number of waves crashing, rolling, creating all sorts of textures. If you have ever gone surfing and have been held under by the ocean, you will know how powerful she is - so powerful that she has the ability to take our lives.

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I, myself, have experienced the power of Mother Ocean. She nearly took my life once, which has deepened my respect for her. She has taught me the true meaning of resilience, and what it means to fight for survival and not give up.

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The final group of paintings and photographs will tell the story of how 'we depend on her for our survival.' Our cities are built along the coastline next to Mother Ocean, because we've relied on her to transport goods and to feed us ever since our hunter-gather days. Today, we use her vast characteristics from waves for modern-day activities, such as surfing, and we use her liquid depths to dive for pleasure to explore her underwater universe.

Right now we are busily undertaking preparations for this week's launch of Mother Ocean and are looking forward to hanging all of the photographs and artworks. With less than a few days left until we open the week long exhibition, there is still an opportunity to buy tickets for a special ocean fundraiser at the art exhibition for The Map to Paradise (film) with street tacos by Marysol, cocktails by Brookie's Dry Gin and a tasting by Tamburlaine Organic Wines. Plus, there will be live music and local talks.

It's your last chance to get your early bird tickets ($50, including food and drinks).

Tickets (5pm Saturday 4th Feburary 2017) via Eventbrite: www.themaptoparadise.eventbrite.com.au

Alternatively, write to hello@themaptoparadise.com to secure your place, and bring cash on the night.

We look forward to seeing you at Mother Ocean.

Talk soon.

James Sherwood

Co-Director, The Map to Paradise

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