Popped into the BRLSI- amongst other things, for me the city’s unofficial ‘Museum of Bath’ – yesterday to catch Collection’s Manager Matt Williams and Graphic designer Jude Harris busy setting up the summer exhibition which opens today (Saturday, April 21st).
The Institution is inviting the public to come in and explore four different themes concerning the Pacific Ocean – a sea so vast that ALL the Earth’s landmasses would fit into its basin.
There is no charge so come and explore the material culture of the indigenous island peoples of the Pacific – including war clubs, drums, jewellery and beaded clothing.
The exhibition also examines the diversity of marine life which is shown by some of the beautiful shells donated by 19th-century naturalist collectors.
You can learn about the history and significance of the Wallace Line, an invisible boundary (named after 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Wallace) which separates the distinctive ecozones of Asia and Australasia – with tigers, barbets and woodpeckers on one side, for example, and marsupials, honeyeaters and cockatoos on the other.
For me, the themes that really hit home are the damage – we the human race are doing -with the ocean under threat as pollution and climate-change impacts on Pacific ecosystems and communities.
Rising sea levels threaten to swamp whole islands and plastic – floating on the ocean surface – is being mistaken for food and fed to bird chicks!
The exhibition is illustrated by prints from four renowned international photo-journalists – Chris Jordan, Ciril Jazbec, Jonas Gratzer and Remi Chauvin – highlighting the impact of environmental change on the wildlife and peoples of the Pacific.
‘Pacific – Ocean of Islands‘ runs until September 22nd. It is free to enter and the ground floor gallery is open from 10 am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. You will find the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square.