The Blue Shark is the most widely distributed animal in the world growing up to 3·8 metres in length. It is also the most heavily fished shark in the world. Estimates suggest 10–20 million are killed each year. As with most oceanic shark, they have not been successfully kept in captivity – most die within less than 30 days. They are one of the fastest fish in the sea, scientists estimate they can reach a top speed of about 35km/h. These basic facts together with the exceptional beauty of this animal inspired this project
The Longevity series explores the idea of man’s search for an eternal/extended life at whatever cost. Inspired by the increasing demand in Asian markets for Manta Ray gill rakers, marketed as a Traditional Chinese Medicine used in soup. Its medical benefits are claimed to boost the immune system, cure cancer and promote fertility, to name just a few. However, none of these claims are supported by traditional Chinese medical texts nor science.
The work was inspired by the artist's love of the Barbican as a piece of architecture and passion from nature, which is literally embedded within the Barbican through it's many trees and plants both inside and outside of the space.
The initial artwork was created while the artist was studying at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and DesignI and went into production during his first term at Camberwell College of Art 2010. All work was on sale at the Barbican Centre Muse store from January until September 2011.
Artwork, products and the display were designed by the artist.