marine-wonderland-1Marine Wonderland is an exhibition of paintings by Dailan Pugh of Australia’s fascinating and diverse marine life.

The exhibition represents three years of work based on hundreds of hours of snorkelling around Australia.

“Pugh’s attention to detail is astounding, as is his understanding of the fish and marine ecosystems that he depicts,” said a spokeswoman for the Lismore Regional Gallery, where the exhibition is on show until September 5.

“The research for his paintings starts in the ocean, snorkelling and taking photographs. Pugh has compiled an extensive library of images, currently around 24,000, all catalogued according to species.”

Pugh says: “while I find the Great Barrier reef truly awesome, I have been equally inspired by our local waters, particularly
the Bream Hole at Lennox Head.

“Though being surrounded by frolicking seals off Tasmania is an experience hard to beat.

“From the perspective of a snorkeller, I seek to take the observer on a journey around and into my paintings, while
realistically depicting the subjects and their surroundings.

“My desire is to touch the heart of the viewer. I hope it may inspire others to become actively involved in their conservation.

“I am honoured to have my exhibition opened by the Honourable Peter Garrett because in the past he has combined his art with environmental activism, and now he is the Minister for both the Environment and the Arts.”

Dailan Pugh is an artist and environmentalist who has been living in the Northern Rivers region since the late 1970s.

He has been highly involved with the conservation movement since the 1970s, and has regularly placed himself on the
frontline.

“Pugh’s marine paintings are a silent way of alerting us to the beauty of nature’s complex systems and the urgent
need to protect them,” the gallery spokeswoman said.

“Warming waters are forcing some temperate species southwards off the tip of Tasmania and into oblivion.

“Meanwhile, as the oceans absorb the surfeit of carbon dioxide, they are acidifying, beginning the dissolution of the calcium carbonate skeletons and shells of innumerable marine organisms, eating away at the very basis of oceanic food chains.”

Pugh says: “It is an indictment of our generation that soon my paintings may be all that is left to evoke memories of
what the Great Barrier Reef used to be like.

“We are creating an extinction event to rival the end of the dinosaurs and, for our oceans, it will only take a decade or so to be irredeemable if we continue on our present course.

“The need for understanding, empathy and action has never been greater. I hope my artwork will awaken people to the beauty and complexity of our marine wonderland and encourage them to take the drastic action required to allow future generations
to be inspired as I have.”

LISMORE REGIONAL GALLERY
OPEN TUESDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM–4PM, THURSDAY TO 6PM
131 MOLESWORTH STREET
LISMORE CITY, NSW AUSTRALIA 2480