A painting and a Statement from Okinawa
—-B. Chrisse Harwanko, an Artist, Educator, Adventure Designer & Tour Leader
Chrisse Harwanko teaches K-2 grades in Okinawa on Kadena Air Base. She loves working with the children she teaches and sharing what she knows about the ocean with them. They always get so excited talking about sea animals and how they need to take care of them.
If visitors of this site have any contacts in Okinawa or elsewhere for her paintings with her message to be on public display, please contact ENC. The original size of the painting is 5 feet x 6 feet — 194cm x 130 cm.
She says, ”My point of the painting was NOT to criticize the Japanese for dolphin slaughter per se but more to bring to light the fact that we pollute the water too much and hence animals on the food chain like the dolphin should not be eaten.”
Message from B. Chrisse Harwanko
“After seeing the movie the Cove and researching dolphins this past year, I was very moved to paint my feelings about dolphins. The slaughter of these cetaceans was, and still is, gut wrenching to me. I also learned that the meat which was toxic to eat was being sold to people who did not know the adverse health effects the PCB, mercury and dioxin contaminated meat. The intention of my painting is to bring worldwide attention to the fact that we pollute the seas with so many toxic chemicals and not only are dolphins affected but so is the health of humankind. The red signifies the blood of the dolphin. The nets represent the veils of the human mind which, generation after generation, hold onto beliefs both good and bad without thought of man’s well being.”
more in detail
B. Chrisse Harwanko
My intent in this painting is to remind people that the ocean is one of the world’s most precious treasures. The message is to bring awareness of our neglect in the care of Mother Ocean and, in particular, the second most intelligent mammal on earth: the dolphin. Visually, I show the death of many dolphins and the all-knowing eyes that look in wonder and in pain. The nets in my painting represent the veils of the human mind and how generation after generation, humankind is caught in the same beliefs and thoughts without looking ahead to what is best for man’s well being or the health of the planet. The sounds heard on the MP3 recording, which is presented with this painting, are distress signals made by dolphins when they are herded together by the banging of the fishermen’s pipes. (Not loaded yet)
To the detriment of man and the dolphin, toxic wastes continue to filter into the ocean. Since dolphins are high on the food chain, they are very contaminated with toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, metylmercury, dioxins, etc. These pollutants can have a devastating impact on reproductive health, immune and endocrine function of humans and other mammals, as they are carcinogenic. The eating of dolphin meat is detrimental to good health. Recent studies have connected diabetes, mercury poisoning, and mental problems to the consumption of dolphin meat.
My intent is NOT to condemn any particular nation who hunts the dolphin or eats dolphin meat, but rather to bring awareness to health and ecological issues.
My hope is that worldwide there will be FREEDOM from our outdated thoughts of how we treat Mother Ocean so she can be preserved for generations to come.