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An art exhibition inspired by My Octopus Teacher: Ocean Art of Earth and Spirit

Robyn Simpson, Cape Town ETC

10 Feb 2022

Following the unprecedented global success of the Sea Change Project’s My Octopus Teacher, social impact agency The Good Machine (TGM) has teamed up with filmmakers Craig Foster and Pippa Ehrlich, fine artist Marti Marais, and the largely undiscovered sculpting sensation Robert Rorich, to wow Capetonians with an art exhibition illuminating the wonders of the Great African Sea Forest.

The idea for the exhibition was born out of a mutual love for sea creatures, and a passion to protect them, by TGM’s founder Gita Carroll and the four artists involved. Filmmakers Foster and Ehrlich – who’ve remained under the radar since winning an Academy Award last year for My Octopus Teacher – will contribute eight original, limited edition photographic prints, which will be sold alongside Rorich’s bronze sculptures and Marais’ mixed media canvases.

A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Sea Change Project (SCP), a non-profit organisation dedicated to telling stories that connect people to the natural world and protecting kelp forests.

Rorich, an emerging sculptor from Kalk Bay, was mesmerised by the octopus in My Octopus Teacher and went on to create the bronze work Octopus Teacher that is the centre of the exhibit. It will be unveiled at the opening event of Ocean Art of Earth and Spirit and has already garnered massive international interest. 50% of all limited editions sold will be donated to SCP.

“I’ve seen many artworks and sculptures of octopuses, but when I saw this sculpture by Robbie Rorich, who grew up close to wild nature, I felt that he’d captured an essence of octopus I’d not seen before. An octopus is a liquid magician, and this piece captures her spirit in movement and form,” said Foster.

Excited about the unveiling of his octopus sculpture, Rorich says, “The ocean always called, and waved. When I learned to listen, and dive in, and down, she started talking. This art is part of what the ocean, and specifically the Great African Seaforest, has said.”

Ocean-lovers and art collectors alike are invited to attend the exhibition, which will run over the weekend of 12 and 13 February from 9am to 6pm.

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