Shark Illustration at Ocean Lifeline Exhibition: New York

Ocean Lifeline Shark Fin Awareness Exhibition Poster by Todd Essick

I was really honoured to be invited by Ocean Lifeline to exhibit my Hammerhead Shark Illustration at an exhibition and joint after party for Quicksilver Pro surf competition at The Keeley Art Gallery in New York.

My Hammerhead Shark Illustration, taken from my Playing With Nature series of illustrated playing cards, was a part of an ocean conservation exhibition in aid of Ocean Lifeline.

Ocean Lifeline is a not for profit organisation made up of a team of marine conservationists, film makers, underwater videographers, photographers and educators, whos mission is to protect marine-life from environmental harm and human destruction.

Ocean Lifeline is committed to preserve the life of dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays and marine life through a series of educational research, strategic campaigns and documentaries.

”The ocean’s lifeline is our lifeline. Protect the future!”

On September 15, 2011 Ocean Lifeline and The Keeley Gallery hosted the art benefit to help raise awareness of the shark finning epidemic.

More than 73 million sharks are killed each year to have their fins cut off for the sole purpose of serving Shark Fin Soup. As many as 90% of sharks have disappeared from our oceans and if we don’t act now the ecological chain reaction will be catastrophic.

Hammerhead Shark Illustration on a pack of playing cards by Caz Haigh


The “Save Our Sharks!” art benefit featured a silent auction of ocean themed works by artists from around the world, as well as music and entertainment. An open bar was provided by Prairie Organic Vodka and vegan treats courtesy of Angel Milk.

Ocean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia CarvajalOcean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia CarvajalOcean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia Carvajal

Featured Artists:
Ryan Keeley, Tasso, Max Nova, Rob Appell, Robena, Caz Haigh, Patrick Muñiz, Daniel Feld, Regan Kireilis Helms, Yarden Davis, Jonathan Davis, Kimyon Higgins

Ocean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia CarvajalOcean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia CarvajalOcean Lifeline Quilt by ROn Appell Designs. Photo from Cynthia Carvajal

On the same evening, Ocean Lifeline hit china town with their ‘Mercury Soup’ posters, an interesting take on Andy Warhols ‘Campbell Soup’ posters.

The ‘Mercury Soup’ posters, detailed the toxicity levels found within shark fin soup and highlighted the various health effects consuming the soup can have. They were pasted up next to restaurants who still have the dish on their menu.

Following Californias proposal to ban shark products, Ocean Lifeline is spearheading the movement to get shark off the menu for New Yorkers.

The amazing flyer for the exhibition is a real photo of a model posing with sharks shot by Todd Essick.

Shark Fun Soup Illustration - Ocean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos used with permission by Cynthia CarvajalDJ at Ocean Lifeline Exhibition - Photos from Cynthia CarvajalOcean Lifeline Conservation Exhibition, Photo from Cynthia Carvajal

Special Performance:
Fire Show by Future & Victor of Flambeaux Fire

DJ Kimyon– No Agenda NYC, Baryshnikov – Mishka Records,  Holly Nelson – Violin


I exhibited my Hammerhead Shark illustration from the Playing with Nature series.

‘Playing with Nature’, is an on-going project, aimed at raising awareness, and funds for marine wildlife conservation.

Originally, ten sets of playing cards were hand illustrated with sea creatures, including a reef shark, a whale, an octopus, hawksbill turtles, tuna, and a hammerhead shark.

The cards were auctioned to raise funds for a marine wildlife conservation organisation. The auction was really successful, with all proceeds donated directly to the charity. The success of the auction lead me to illustrate more creatures, and raise more funds through various auctions, including an exhibition at The Cube in London, as a part of Emerge 2010 at the London Design Festival.

So far proceeds from the project have been donated to The Marine Conservation Society, The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and PADI Project AWARE.

Sponsors of the Ocean Lifeline exhibition were:
The Keeley Gallery, New York Women in Film & Television, 708 Magazine, Pigeon King, Artists Studios, Prarie Organic Vodka, Angel Milk, Dawn of Man, Flavor Pill, Alternative Apparel, Bueña Vista Foto, Munitio, Tasso


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