Entitled “Pania of the Reef”, this piece is about ‘Pania’, the legendary protector of the reef in local Maori folklore and is believed to have lived in the waters off the coast of Napier.
The artist met with some of Pania’s direct descendants in the city of Napier and other local Maori historians and spoke with them about the best way to depict Pania and tell her story through his mural.
In working with Pangeaseed Foundation and the Sea Walls project on this mural, the artist wanted to highlight the pressing ocean conservation issue of Acidification. Due to man made climate concerns, specifically the raising CO2 levels in our atmosphere, the acidity levels of our oceans have risen and continue to rise at alarming rates killing our reefs and the delicate ecosystems around them worldwide. To illustrate this issue, James Bullough have depicted Pania floating defiant and hopeful over her reef despite the fact that it is void of all life and she herself is dissolving from the dangerously high acid levels.
About The Artist
James Bullough is an American born artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His paintings, and huge monumentally scaled site-specific murals, are phenomenal combinations of realist painting technique and graphic punctuation. Inspired by gritty urban graffiti as a young artist growing up in Washington, DC, Bullough harnessed its energy in his work, and perfected a realistic oil painting technique from his study of the Old Masters. Combining the momentum of the one and the technical precision of the other, his work is about staging compelling contrasts and juxtapositions. Working in everything from oil, spray paint and ink on canvas, Bullough’s paintings strike a balance between realistic figurations and stylized interruption. Disjointing the realistic elements with graphic areas and fractured or striated planes, Bullough intends to challenge the viewer’s perception.
PangeaSeed Foundation’s mission is to harness the power of art, science, and creativity to generate awareness and stimulate dialogue to inspire and effect positive change surrounding global ocean environmental issues.
PangeaSeed Foundation aims to unify and connect individuals around the world, opening a dialog to share ideas and develop a better global understanding of our connection with the oceans.
PangeaSeed Foundation believes that art, design and new media can transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries inspiring positive global change. PangeaSeed collaborates with today’s most influential creative minds to help give the oceans the voice they so desperately need.