Celia Gregory

about us : celia gregory

My aim for The Marine Foundation and i choose the use of the word foundation because for me in conjures up images of a strong grounding that supports;  to  support a new vision of value, respect and appreciation of the resources and pleasures the oceans provides. However not in a judgmental way but through fun and creativity so that people feel excited and empowered. I believe pointing the finger in blame only wastes valuable energy and we could better serve the issue exploring solutions.

I founded the The Marine Foundation because i felt things were not improving, that the threats to the environment and those that live are  still prevalent. i  have always found great joy in the natural  beauty of this world and from childhood it has been a source of wonder.  Life has thrown many challenges my way  however the innate creativity of our planet that has kept me inspired. I’d say if ruining this gorgeous earth we have been gifted was making us all happy i’d say go for it but i don’t think it is?

In 2006 1 was diving in the north of bali and as we neared our dive we saw another boat, nothing seemed unusual. It was another story under the water, there were hundreds of beautiful fish floating dead in the water still as colourful and lovely but life less.  After a while diving around the devastation  i heard a loud boom and felt  the vibration rippled through the water i realised they were dynamite bombing the reefs.  The waste is what really got me, i understood that the people doing this are probably poor and uneducated to the impact they are having but i was so sad.

After taking my first dive in  Zanibar in 2000 having nearly died to get there http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4LxMN1jim4 the cliche of  does a near death experience change you life is certainly true. i chose to spend more time in and around the seas and oceans of this world and increasingly it became apparent that  marine habitats all over the world are suffering under the stress placed on them by human activity.  Issues such as over fishing, sediment suffocation. to pollution of the water by raw sewage, toxic pesticides and other chemicals and ridiculous  techniques such as dynamite fishing and the use of cyanide as a means to stun fish for aquariums and the live food industry.

As a diver i become  accustomed to  the term artificial reefs and some of the best examples of these are ship wrecks.  My Imagination was captivated, when I discovered that the  Rainbow Warrior a Greenpeace boat, which had been actively interfering with  Nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean was bombed and  the on board photographer  was killed. The vessel was damaged beyond repaired and in 1987  was stripped, cleaned and then officially sunk in Matauri Bay, New Zealand. The Rainbow warrior is now a thriving sanctuary for marine life and covered in coral and full of marine life. I loved it and i pondered why can we not merge art and science and I became  excited to learn more and develop my art practice into designing living sculptures that were also  artificial reefs, marine installations  to provide a home for marine life and be atheistically interesting.

Sculptures that  can be witnessed and interacted with in ways not possible on land, generating  a totally original  experience and a brilliant new medium through which to cultivate an environmental conscious message.

i am seeking to nurture an emotional connection with the marine world, harnessing creativity to intrigue and raise awareness. I hope to cultivate a sense of responsibility and to help us to understand that each one of us is interwoven with our planets well-being with choices and the power to make the decisions. Ultimate we protect what we love.

I am very proud to be supported by the Roddick foundation and continue to some extend the vision that The Body Shop inspired in me as a  young adult  dawning into the harsher realities of this world;  A Blue Planet  full of  much beauty and one of the greatest gifts of life is our power to choose and in this choice our power to create.

Anita Roddick  ‘ Consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice.

The ocean is a vast and magical body of water. The rhythm of the tides is created by the moon, the in and the out of the wave is never ceasing, it changes but it is always there. The  universal mantra so similar to the in and out of our breath, Breath is life and aligning ourself to this sound is like falling into the arms of the mother.  Water is the giver of life and everything flows into the sea. We were born from the ocean and it is a symbol of our oneness.

A Maori Meditation ‘ Finding God ‘

Sermons say read the bible

To know god Kneel and pray

To know god

Obey the commandments

To know god

But yesterday I saw a butterfly

Land on a withered leaf

Just before sunset

And at that moment

I knew god…

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