SEA WALLS COZUMEL - MEXICO

April 2019, I was blessed to be invited over to Mexico to catch up with the PangeaSeed family and paint a new mural piece on the island of Cozumel, alongside 20 other incredible artists from around the world. The locals of the island treated us with such incredible hospitality, and the team of artists, volunteers and crew were all such wonderful humans to know and spend time with. The location of my wall is in the central plaza where far too many cruise ship passengers disembark for the day, every day, to amble aimlessly through the small island town. Hence I needed to create some very direct messaging for this site.

Please note: The photos below mostly depict the time in between painting in 35 degrees for 8-12 hours at a time!

Festival artwork by  Pogo

Festival artwork by Pogo

Over the course of a year in planning and three weeks on the ground, we created 20 large-scale, purpose-driven murals to highlight pressing environmental issues affecting Cozumel's terrestrial and marine natural resources.

The whole crew at Punta Sur. Pic by  Yoshi Travel .

The whole crew at Punta Sur. Pic by Yoshi Travel.

We like to think of our Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans projects as gifts to the communities we #paintforapurpose in. Working hand in hand with residents, local government, community organizers, and nonprofit organizations, we aim to pave the path for a legacy that not only inspires the locals to reduce their impact on the island but also for the public artworks to serve as a tool for environmental organizations on the ground to make waves.

My piece: Protect what you Love. Artist statement below:

My piece: Protect what you Love. Artist statement below:

Cozumel is such a precious jewel from the bright blue reef to the deep green jungle, and hence so heavily trafficked by visitors. Coming from another small island with a unique ecosystem, I naturally developed the need to promote guardianship of our natural world through my work. 
In order to protect the fragile environment of Cozumel it’s going to take more than nodding in concurrence and walking on by. As visitors to Cozumel, in cooperation with locals, it’s our responsibility to tread as lightly as possible.
We can: Make educated decisions on which souvenirs to purchase, ensuring the materials used obtained in a sustainable manner; Avoid all plastic packaging - BYO containers for food, bags for shopping, and refill your drink bottles at restaurants; Educate ourselves on how to swim on the reef without damaging it, invest in reef-safe suncream, and never kick the coral.

Leave no trace.

This mural speaks of the jungle found in the heart center of Cozumel. It utilizes bold typographic messaging, the style inspired by Mayan visual patterns. The soft subdued colour palette alludes to the delicate nature of these species of flora and fauna- all of which which I saw for myself during my time in Cozumel. All are precious and all work in harmony to provide clean air for us to breathe. ‘Protect what you Love’ may sound like a sweet sentiment, but it is a cry for urgent action and consideration before this beautiful environment fades away.

Te quiero, Cozumel.

El Cedral - Cenotes in the middle of the jungle which inspired my piece.

El Cedral - Cenotes in the middle of the jungle which inspired my piece.

We are confident that the addition of these public works of art will continue to contribute to the grassroots environmental movement on Cozumel, across Mexico and around the world.

With the generous and unwavering support of Melissa Angulo, our project director, our presenting partners and long-time friends at Proyecto PanoramaComex, and over 80 island partners, we successfully executed our 17th flagship Sea Walls Artists for Oceans project.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Photos by Tre Packard, Yoshi Travel, and underwater photography by The Stills