Candy Medusa is an artist, illustrator, marine biologist and loudmouth, constantly confused as to why bios are supposed to be in the third person.
Specialising in mixed media and upcycling, she draws much of her inspiration from nature and is passionate about the environment. She mostly makes art between midnight and 4am when the kids are asleep.
Candy has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including with the Royal Society of Marine Artists at Mall Galleries in London, and with Creative Action Network in America and Bahrain. She was also resident artist aboard the Sea Dragon in the Caribbean.
Candy is the founder of the eXXhibition project, raising awareness of plastic pollution, organising beach cleans and workshops, and upcycling beach litter into art.
Vice Principal of an International School
Catherine is currently a Design and Art teacher at an International School in Japan as well as a Vice Principal and mother of two. During her time teaching, she has become increasingly aware of the issues that her students and children will face as they embrace an unknown future. Catherine hopes to find and create opportunities for herself and those around her to make this world both healthy and beautiful.
Grown in the french countryside, raised by an organic winemaker and single mom, Claire is both passionate about environmental issues and women empowerment.
Illustrator, graphic designer, traveller, and master of sociology, she first heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during her master degree of environmental sociology in Lisbon. As an artist, she is fascinated by the variety and the beauty of marine creatures, from the tiny plankton to the majestic whale.
She hopes to raise awareness about plastic pollution and why oceans are so important for our survival as a species through her art.
Born in midlands Ireland, Claire didn’t grow up with much exposure to or experience of the sea. That all changed in 2014, when an idle pub conversation with her partner got out of hand… and they bought a boat. Two short years later she found herself immersed in a wholly new experience – as an amateur diesel mechanic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! The couple successfully completed a 9 month North-Atlantic circumnavigation via the Caribbean, and ever since, Claire has been hooked on the sea.
As a contemporary artist, Claire investigates the structures that connect us to the world and each other, and makes work that reflects on themes of connection and collaboration. Having directly witnessed the prevalence of plastic debris in the most offshore regions of the Atlantic, the eXXpedition Round the World mission sparked an interest to do more. This voyage will inform a new body of research in which Claire will explore the symbolic role of the Ocean in our collective cultural psyche, as a means to investigate how ocean pollution may be causing psychological as well as environmental harm.
United States of America
Writer, Artist and Wildlife Rehabilitator
Erica Cirino is a writer, artist and wildlife rehabilitator who explores the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds. Her work is focused on the human connection to nature–wild creatures in particular–and human impact on planet Earth.
As a writer, Erica covers stories about wildlife and the environment, most often related to biology, conservation and policy. Her stories appear in Scientific American, VICE, Ars Technica, Audubon, The Atlantic, New Scientist, The Revelator, Hakai Magazine, Oceans Deeply, Proto and other popular science publications.
As an artist, Erica creates works that conjure human emotions toward the nonhuman world. She is an award-winning photographer and mixed-media creator who combines her artistic finesse with her knowledge of wildlife physiology and ecology to devise striking, thoughtful works focused on wild beings and landscapes.
Currently, Erica is focused on covering stories about the global plastic pollution crisis—from documenting plastic in different ecosystems, to investigating the latest science measuring the extent of the issue, to new solutions that could prevent further ecological destruction and harm to wildlife. Her work covering the story of plastic pollution has taken her sailing twice across the Pacific, in Danish waters, and around Iceland; to Southeast Asia, across the U.S. and Western Europe; the Caribbean; Polynesia and beyond. Erica gives lectures about her experiences reporting these stories in the field around the world.
One of Erica’s major creative inspirations is her role as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has spent many years in the clinical setting. Over the past 11+ years, Erica has helped treat thousands of sick, orphaned and injured wild animals for their eventual release into the wild. She specializes in treating birds of prey, such as hawks, owls and falcons.
Through her writing, art and wildlife rehabilitation work, Erica hopes to foster human care, conversation and, perhaps, kinship with the nonhuman world.
Fade is an internationally renowned tattoo artist who has tattooed worldwide and runs her own tattoo studio in Brighton, England. She’s the only European tattoo artist trained in the ancient art of hand tap tattooing which she learnt whilst living with tribes in the jungles of Borneo and West Sumatra.
Her career has been the focus of multiple articles and features in the tattoo press including the magazines; Skin Deep, Tattoo Master, Total Tattoo and Skin Shots. She has experience in television and radio interviews and documenting tattooing. She’s been the subject of a short film by Emmy award winners Ember films as well as self directing and producing a book and documentary on tattoo anthropology in tribal cultures.
She is a passionate tattoo anthropologist and a freelance writer for the UK’s best selling tattoo magazines, SkinDeep and Total Tattoo. Her ambition now is to focus on directing a feature-length documentary about tattoo anthropology, tattooing and preservation of indigenous cultures, the rainforest and tattoo heritage in the Mentawai islands and the Pacific ocean crossing between Easter Island and Tahiti combating plastic pollution with eXXpedition.
She spends time every year working with the charity, Sea Shepherd fund raising for their direct action on ocean conservation and she volunteers with ‘Assisting Your Life to Achieve’ in Australia, fundraising and covering scars for their mental health projects.
Creative Consultant - Design/Communications
Juliana is the first Costa Rican to join eXXpedition, she is a professional in the field of design and creativity, an avid diver and conservationist. She has oriented her personal and professional life to use art, design and targeted communications as tools to positively influence human behaviour for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans.
After spending 10 years focused on graphic design and visual communications in Costa Rica, Juliana combined those skills with her passion for marine conservation by graduating with an MA in Sustainable Natural Resource Management.
She had the opportunity to develop as a creative in the world of marine conservation as part of the team of The Reef-World Foundation in the Philippines, where she worked as the Communications Manager for four years and currently as Creative Consultant. Reef-World is a UK charity that works as the international coordinator of the UN Environment’s Green Fins initiative, which focuses on driving environmentally friendly scuba diving and snorkelling practices across the industry globally.
For the last four years, she’s worked to develop a behavioural design approach to marine conservation, uniting creativity with conservation. As part of this work she conducted a complete brand overhaul to enhance Reef-World’s and Green Fins’ communications; supported training and capacity building for Green Fins in the Philippines and Palau; developed, designed and implemented all campaigns for the organization; amongst many other tasks.
KATIE is an Australian born artist working across various media including video, installation and interactivity and app development. Katie is interested in the experience of time, the intangible and the natural environment and playing with contradictions within the act of seeing and looking. Katie explores this idea through the history of the moving image, psychology, computing, climate change and cosmology. She has a particular interest in the intersection of science art and is hoping to integrate her work and her experience with eXXpedition.
Katie lived on a riverboat that ran trips for tourists between the English cities of Bath and Bristol and therefore has experience on the water and general water safety training. She is now looking forward to expanding into the world of coastal sailing on board RV Sea Dragon with eXXpedition.
Architect and Educator
An architect, designer and educator, Lara has been teaching sustainability to artists and designers for over 10 years. Partnering with organizations such as Surfrider Foundation and 5 Gyres, her longstanding Rise Above Plastics class at Otis College of Design in Los Angeles has produced a multitude of creative projects, events and installations to raise awareness and influence behavior around the issue of single-use plastic pollution.
The Rise Above Plastics class is also a travel program where Otis students visit school children on the pacific coast of Nicaragua to educate them through interactive art and design activities about how plastic pollution discarded on their beaches is harming the sea life that they love so much and rely on as their primary food source.
Laura Coleman is the Director of The ONCA Trust, an environmental arts charity based in Brighton. Laura is a graduate of the University of East Anglia and has a Masters Degree in History of Art from the University of York. She has worked for six years on grassroots conservation projects, predominantly in Greece, Spain, Norway and South America. In Bolivia she worked for Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, rehabilitating animals rescued from black market trade.
On her return to the UK, she founded ONCA – One Network for Conservation and the Arts – with the view to setting up a space in which to explore ecology through art, storytelling and performance. The ONCA Gallery now runs programmes of exhibitions and workshops that initiate conversations and ask creative questions about our changing environment, whilst raising funds and awareness for frontline conservation projects.
As well as running The ONCA Trust and Gallery, Laura is an artist, curator, conservationist, teacher and explorer. You can find more information about Laura and ONCA at www.onca.org.uk.
Maria is the latest addition to the crew. She graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art from Camberwell School of Art & a Postgraduate degree in Art & Design Education from Goldsmith’s University, London. She is passionate advocate and lover of all things related to water. Maria’s work explores interactions between human manipulation of the natural world and vice versa trough the use of installation, sculpture, photography and film. By seeking human footprints upon water environments, and by using man-made objects that, subjected to randomly altering circumstances reveal hidden historicities, she questions our ability to identify and project knowledge backwards and forwards through time and space. Beachcombing and mudlarking the Thames has led to an obsession with plastic debris entering fluvial and marine environments.
Since the 2011 Japanese earthquake, Maria has been intensively following numerous research on the Great Pacific garbage patches and producing 3Dimensional artworks made from plastic collected from several locations in the Atlantic and the Thames. Maria has collaborated with various architects on environmental projects. These include the Biomimicry-based: ‘ecoMachines _World Dubai Marine Life Incubators’, with EcologicStudio & the Architects Association, culminating in a book publication in 2011. The brief was to design a series of purpose-built underwater structures using Biomimicry and computer technology, to encourage the growth, expansion and adaptation of a healthy coral reef connected by sensors to a Scientific Research & Education Centre. ‘Empooling Landscapes’, with the University of East London, dealt with the exploration of the long-term effects of salt crystals on different building materials within the marshlands of the Coto de Doña Aña National Park, in Andalucía. Her role as artist on the expedition will be to produce a series of artworks that, in response to the trip’s findings, highlight the disruptive effects of microplastics as hormonal disruptors to both humans, and marine organisms. Maria is working on various ideas that as well as conveying this poignant message, will utilise these samples as literal Fossilised Time-Capsules-artworks providing alternative ways of preserving information for future study.
STELLA is an Artist, Mariner and classic-boat restorer and lover of the mountains. Her hope for the upcoming eXXpedition is to become an ambassador for cleaner oceans around the world.
Whilst sailing across the Pacific in 2014 Stella became truly aware of the consequences that our everyday actions are having on the planet as a whole and she realised that she must help to create change.
In Stella’s practice as an artist and print-maker, she seeks to create a sense of immersion for the viewer, to draw them into a feeling or atmosphere emotive of new ways of thinking. Previously, a central theme in her practice has been the progressive relationship that humans have with the natural world and Stella’s work has explored the precarious balance between natural systems and our own man-made ones, seeking to demonstrate the fragility of our existence.
As Artist in Residence for eXXpedition, Stella is excited to share her vision for a cleaner world through the eyes of her artistry.
TANIA works as a Creative Director, Artist/Designer, Professional Photographer, and Environmentalist.
Tania grew up in Norway with an active lifestyle from the ocean to the mountains. Skiing/snowboarding, surfing, diving, paddle boarding, and sailing to travelling around the world, Tania has a spirit for adventure and thrives on challenges.
While working on her anthropology dissertation with Bedouins in Sinai, Egypt, Tania was inspired by their respect for nature. There, she was introduced to the Red Sea Diving College, which sparked her enduring passion for diving and underwater photography. Her photographs from this experience have been exhibited and sold at well-known galleries in London.
Tania has worked with Smithsonian ocean research expeditions in South America. From the density of the jungles in Guatemala, to the depths of the sea bordering Belize, Tania participated in studies focusing on ocean pollution, learning about the challenges of nature in the wake of human consumerism.
Her Masters of Art in Photography dissertation was based on imagery expressing the ‘The Means of Consumption,’ using art to visualize patterns of waste disposal problems, specifically ocean waste. This inspired her to found the Norwegian based non-profit organization Sea Sick Fish, focusing on ocean waste solutions and biodegradable packaging. Her fascination with the effects of waste and pollution on ocean species has galvanized her to work extensively with a variety of projects for community sustainability, education, recycling, and consulting on ocean-friendly product development.
Tania is also presenting and sponsored by The Cup, creating awareness for the amazing natural reusable Menstrual Cup helping girls in poverty with their hygiene and female sanitation. Many poor young girls miss school or drop out due to their periods, ending up finding solutions that become infectious or harmful. The Cup is healthy for your body and also reduces excess non biodegradable plastic additives in tampons and pads ending up in ocean. Tania will be educating women and girls about the cup at schools and in villages along the way.
Tania combines creativity with science, and passion with cause in all of her endeavours. Her goal for eXXpedition Amazon 2015 is to be inspired to develop innovative waste solutions and strategies and document the trip with her unique photojournalistic style.
Yvonne is an Artist from Micronesia with a Degree in Anthropology and a Commercial Pilot’s License. She is an animated soul with an enthusiasm for projects involving cultural preservation, environmental conservation, women’s rights and education. Yvonne is ecstatic to be joining a leg of the eXXpedition 2019 World tour; believing that her participation in the joint endeavor to collect base data is essential toward the positive progress of environmental conservation. She is a child of the islands, sailing on Pacific waters is one close to her heart.