screenshot_05On 12 December 2011 Lucy attended the opening of An exhibition of ten original prints and 30 posters, made from two birds killed by the Rena disaster, and some of the Rena's oil that washed up in the Bay of Plenty. Below is a press release from Greenpeace regarding these prints:

Auckland, 5/4/12: This month a collection of original prints made from a little blue penguin and a diving petrel killed by the Rena disaster will go on a three-centre tour, going on public display in venues in Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington.

Greenpeace Campaigner Steve Abel says: "This memorial to the birds that were killed by the Rena’s oil is also a stark reminder of the dangers of opening up New Zealand waters to deep sea oil drilling."

The two birds were found dead and covered in oil on Matakana Island by Greenpeace volunteers when they were helping the local iwi, Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Matakana, clean oil off their beaches following the Rena spill.

An art collective made up of creatives from Publicis Mojo and Greenpeace volunteers came up with the concept of making ‘oil prints’ with the birds, using some of the actual oil from the Rena, and donated their time to create the prints.

Ten of the prints were made on canvas; another 20 were used as A3 posters. All were exhibited in Auckland prior to Christmas.

The impacts of the Rena accident shocked New Zealanders, but the 350 tonne spill could be dwarfed by a deep sea oil disaster, the prospect of which is becoming more real by the day.

Exploratory deep sea drilling – the same activity that the Deepwater Horizon was engaged in when it exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 - will be getting underway off the South Island later this year.

The Deepwater Horizon accident leaked 627,000 tonnes of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, while engineers spent months struggling to fix a problem 1.5 kilometres below the sea’s surface.

As the easy-to-reach supplies of oil run out, the oil industry is pushing into new frontiers, including deeper and deeper waters, and the Arctic, in search of new reserves.

Some of the companies that have brought this search to New Zealand have been involved in numerous devastating oil spills worldwide, including the Deepwater Horizon spill, and a recent deep sea spill off the coast of Brazil.

These companies could be drilling in water up to three kilometres deep (1), twice as deep as the water the Deepwater Horizon was operating in.

“Once exploratory drilling begins later this year, New Zealand will be under threat from a Deepwater Horizon-type disaster off our coast. The authorities didn’t have a hope of containing the Rena’s oil. Imagine waiting helplessly for more than a 1000 times more oil to wash up on Dunedin’s St. Clair Beach, Christchurch’s New Brighton Beach, Raglan, Stewart Island, or on the Wairarapa coast,” Abel says.

“Allowing the oil industry to set up whole new frontiers in exploration runs directly counter to the clean energy expansion the world needs if we are to have any chance of avoiding runaway climate change,” says Abel.

To date over 138,000 people have signed Greenpeace’s petition to stop any deep sea oil drilling - and the expansion of coal mining - in New Zealand, in favour of a clean energy future. The petition will be closing soon (www.greenpeace.org.nz/oil).

EDITOR’S NOTES:

The exhibition will be open to the public between 10am – 6pm daily, April 11 - 14, upstairs at the Crafted Coffee Company, Re:start Shopping Mall, Cashel St, Christchurch;

between 10am – 5pm on the 17th and 18th of April, and between 10am-6pm between the 19th and the 21st, at Taste Merchants, 36 Lower Stuart St. Dunedin;

and …

between 10am - 5pm, April 24th - 25th, and 10am - 6pm, April 26th - 28th, at Chaffers Gallery, 1 Herd St, Chaffers Dock, Oriental Bay, Wellington.

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