Wicked fishes by Xico Gaivota
It´s pretty daunting that our seas have, in a way, become a plastic graveyard.
Despite various efforts to turn it back into reusable form, it is pretty much a futile struggle and until people are educated and our chronic dependence on plastic ebbs away, this graveyard will grow exponentially and out of control, and at this pace, eventually into a point of no return.
All over the World and mainly in third World coastal fishing villages, there are atrocious stories of how this man made obscene phenomenon as changed communities. But some of these stories turn into fascinating tales of human resilience and adaptation. Like when the fisherman of Kollan, in India´s southern state of Kerala starting catching more plastic than fish on their nets. In despair over 5 000 of the local inhabitants started the first ever recycling center in the region and as, with the help of several government and NGO agencies, become a massive and life changing enterprise.
Then there´s the endless efforts of recycling all kind Ocean plastic into all sorts of usable objects and packaging. Compressed Ocean plastic is turned into Footwear, Swimwear and even high end Sunglasses and various other consumables, bits of old tyres hit the rods as new tyres and Styrofoam becomes picture frames, beach huts and picnic benches!
Then there is the creative minds the likes of Mandy Barker, Max Liboion, Steve Mcphearson, and many others who turn ocean plastic into art.
This last month I had the pleasure of meeting and bounding a friendship with someone, who is not only a great, down to earth and extremely humble person, but who also turns Ocean Plastic into exceptional Oceanic life and thus creates some pretty unique pieces…
Ricardo Ramos (AKA Xico Gaivota) was invited to come to Vilankulos and the Bazaruto Archipelago by Susana Vidal from BahiaMar Boutique Hotel with the chief purpose of sharing his knowledge and craft to local artist. During his month, long stay Ricardo was extremely impressed about the local effort´s being made about the Ocean Plastic issue. On the #vilankulolivredeplastico
awareness building events, in the small children and Women filling and lugging giant sacks of beach waste along the shore lines. The wonder he created in children in school workshops he conducted and in the intrinsic highly creative way local craftsman picked his artistry.
I met Ricardo on a three-day trip we did to the San Sebastian Peninsula where day after day he walked alone for miles in the hot Africa sun collecting hundreds of kilos of garbage for his creations. During this time, we got to know each other and I recognized the mutual love and respect we both have of the sea, nourished from when we took our first steps. I understood him to be a man that likes to work with his hands and who as previously mastered working with wood, stone, iron, paper and other media. He told me how he started to model this 3D ocean plastic into life with his children for Christmas present´s. From then his creations evolved and are a testament of his passion for the Ocean and its sustainability.
Of course, I immediately seeded in his mind to create a Marlin, a Black of course, seeing this was plastic picked from Bazaruto Archipelago. Over the next few days and as he created his master piece I watched (and of course gave a few suggestions and opinions here and there) in amazement as this form come to life in real scale. Screw after screw (and he used over 400 on that piece) he fitted a puzzle of endless pieces of various shapes and colors. The most amazing thing is that he never cuts any of the pieces to suit his needs, you never see a screw on the finished piece and the wicked fish that come out of this creative process using all kinds of plastic; from toothbrushes, lighters, pipes, cans and a myriad other, are simply mind-blowing!
He then created a turtle from over 300 flip flop´s, a Yellow kind of a snapper wicked fish with toothbrush and flipper fins. A silly looking blue kind of snapper that exactly stands out because of that ridiculous expression…and then, the head of an elephant.
Pictures really do not bring out the best in those pieces, one has to see it for oneself, against a sparkling white wall and best light….phenomenal!
With this five pieces, he did a small exposition at BahiaMar for the Vilankulos community a day before his departure. He told me on his last night how he wished he could stay and it was moving to see how much the place and the people had touched him. So much so that he decided to give the proceedings of the sale of this pieces to the local environmental efforts and set up a foundation which will implement large scale beach clean, waste management, upcycling, artist training, education and awareness.
Great meeting you Ricardo, looking forward to seeing you soon and if that Marlin does not end up on the Wall at my new house then, we building another next time you here…and yes, I will take you fishing!
Kanimambo & all the best…
Too see more of Xico Gaivota pieces go to;
Duarte A. M. Rato
Sportfishing Charters @ Vilankulos & Bazaruto Archipelago
FB: MarlinMoz Sportfishing & fishbazaruto.com
Phone: 00 258 84 639 0466 or 00 258 82 805 7160