Sunsets At Sea

Sea Blog – Our Director Laura Gave A Talk On Wayra The Puma And The O N C A Gallery

By ONCA

27th November 2014

22 36.10 N

42 05.69 W

Happy Thanksgiving America!


We celebrated this holiday with three of our American shipmates – Diana, Shanley & Jenna. For many, it was their first Thanksgiving and although there was no turkey or “tofurkey” in sight, the occasion was complete with pancakes and the last of our fresh fruit (Eek!). The day ended with a bright moon on the water and each of us sharing what we are grateful for. Reflections on our current journey as well as tributes to family and friends were recurring themes. Also, our gratefulness to each other for creating an environment of support, caring and harmony in our floating shelter, very far from home.

But wait! We are getting ahead of ourselves here. Due to continued conditions at sea making trawling impossible – we were able to have two talks today instead of one. So, in our ‘hour of science’ we heard from our resident aquatic toxicologist, Diana, about her amazing career pushing boundaries and exploring endocrine disrupters in fish habitats throughout the US. Her typically infectious smile and laugh ebbed as we discussed the seriousness of the situation. However, her passion and energy for action was inspiring to us all, emphasising that we must adopt a whole system view to combat the problem – not just focus on the impacts that humans alone will experience.

The focus on animals continued in our evening talk, given by one of our artists in residence, Laura. She spoke of an animal that changed her life – Wayra – a puma saved from the Bolivian black market that she has helped to rehabilitate in an animal refuge over the past 8 years. Laura returned from her initial time with Wayra to a very different England from the one she’d left. She found herself changed and with a new passion to share her experience of connecting with nature through art. She created an amazing gallery space in Brighton, establishing a charity – ONCA – and has since worked with over 1,000 artists to explore our multifaceted and complex relationship with the world around us.


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Posted on December 1, 2014
Categories: O N C A Updates
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