As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Dose # 72:Knits & Nets 4: Ghost Net Art

Today, fisher folks in Australia’s remote Darnley Island (Erub) turn ghost nets into beautiful artworks to send out a powerful environmental message and call-to- action to the world …

Dose # 69-75- Knits & Nets

Dose #72:
Knits & Nets 4:
Ghost Net Art

What are ghost nets?
Info via Wikipedia

“Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. They can entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, including the occasional human diver. Acting as designed, the nets restrict movement, causing starvation, laceration and infection, and suffocation in those that need to return to the surface to breathe…” Read more


“Experts say up to 14,000 turtles could have died at the Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia in the last nine years…”via Daily Mail

turtle 5_big

Ghost Net Art by Ellarose Savage
From the Australian Museum collection
Photo by Rebecca Fisher © Australian Museum

The Idea: Ghost Net Art
The Menace is the Medium is the Message
Ghost nets kill huge numbers of marine animals in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait (via). On the remote Darnley Island (Erub) fisher folks have found a good use for the deadly material that shows up on their shores everyday —beautiful art inspired by local folklore. Provides employment to locals and sends out a powerful message to the world as these pieces are now displayed in major museums.

The Ghost Net Art Project
Info via Ghost Nets Australia

“Ghost net art has proven to be a great vehicle for alerting the general public to the damage that ghost nets inflict on the marine environment.

Even before GhostNets Australia started working with indigenous rangers to clear Australia’s northern coastline of ghost nets, people were using them for diverse purposes. In various northern Australian indigenous communities you might see ghost nets being used as screens on verandahs, adorned with shells and glass or plastic floats, or as fencing for chook pens. Fishing and yam bags were made from pieces of net found washed up on beaches.

One thing that you wouldn’t see however was articles made of ghost net on display in museums and art galleries – an occurrence not so unusual these days…” Read more


Darnley Island (Erub) from the air.
Photography by Rebecca Fisher
Image via Australian Museum

Collecting Ghost Nets


This single ghost net collection by Dhimuru rangers was a 6-man job!
Image from Ghost Nets Australia on Facebook

Sorting Ghost Nets


“Rope, floats and ghost net that has been sorted and placed around the Erub Erwer Meta art centre before being used in new ghost net works.”
Info and Image from Australian Museum
Photography by Rebecca FisherRights:© Australian Museum

Sorting Other Nets and Ocean Debris for Art Making


“Milk crates filled with different kinds of fishing net, rope and floats at Erub Erwer Meta.”
Info and Image via Australian Museum
Photography by Rebecca FisherRights:© Australian Museum

Local Artists Working on Ghost Net Art commissioned by Australia Museum


(L-R) Alma Sailor, Racy Oui-Pitt, Ellarose Savage, Emma Gela and Florence Gutchen preparing rope and ghost net to make the ghost net sculptures for the Australian Museum
Photography by Rebecca Fisher
Info and Image via Australian Museum

Ghost Net Art in Progress


A work in progress. Ghost net art for the Australian Museum slowly taking shape
Photography by Rebecca Fisher
Image via Australian Museum

Glorious Ghost Net Art Displayed at the Australian Museum


The finished ghost net honeycomb cod hanging from the ceiling of the Indigenous Australians Gallery of the Australian Museum
Image via Australian Museum


Ghost Net Art Collection of the Australian Museum
Indigenous Australians Gallery, Australian Museum
Image via Australian Museum

Ghostly art, made from debris that menaces marine life

Ghost Net Art as Environmental Activism

See more info and images on the creation of the Ghost Net Art collection for the Australian Museum

Read this informative article: “Abandoned Nets Trapping Ocean’s Rare and Delicate Creatures” on the Daily Mail

Learn about Sue Ryan, Director of the Ghost Net Art Project for GhostNets Australia

Check out the Ghost Nets Austtralia website

Connect with Ghost Nets Australia on Facebook

rx-logo-11So do…take inspiration from how the fisher folks of Darnley Island (Erub) have turned an ocean menace into an art medium with a powerful message to the world. And may we all heed their call by doing our part in caring for our ONE ocean. Start with one simple step – know the facts about ocean-bound rubbish, and take action! Did you know that 70% of plastic ends up in the sea? (Info from WWF)

“Plastic particles in the oceans attract toxins. These enter the food chain; we are at the top of that food chain.” Read more on plasticoceans

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