Seal Sees the Sea, video (2011)
by Marten Sims

Harbour Seal’s form an integral part of both the tourists and residents impression of the Vancouver seascape. Walking along the seawall, we humans are often surprised by the sudden appearance of seals, who seem just as curious about us. Their sudden materialisation is often just as swift as their disappearance (frequently with no indication of where they might reappear – much to the annoyance of photographers). This piece reverses the perspective by following the journey of a inquisitive harbour seal as she visits a variety of sites around the Vancouver shoreline and seawall throughout the day – watching us humans as we go about our various activities and sightseeing.

Marten grew up in Dorset, a county on the south coast of England. Living is an area of outstanding natural beauty Marten spent much of his childhood in, on, or by the ocean, and more recently has begun exploring under it. It was while volunteering and scuba-diving on the Galapagos Islands in 2008 that he found out what we – as a species – are doing to the ocean, and that it can’t continue, for all our sakes. For eight year he has worked on branding projects, campaigns and in advertising for environmental, humanitarian and sexual health organisations. In addition to his professional work, he also co-directs a non-profit ocean education organisation called‘Wake Project’ here in Vancouver. Although Marten produces work in a variety of medium’s, often his primary objective is to communicate something about his love for the sea, and to raise questions about our own actions towards this, our most precious natural resource.


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