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Fish #175 Rock Cook Centrolabrus exoletus ~ Maria Sky
Mixed Media Assemblage 43 x 36 x 10 cm
The fish peers, with confusion and shock, at the two plastic bottles located at the bottom of the shadow box. Amongst the "seagrass" also lies a small metal toy truck and one plastic cap. The fish looks in disbelief, thinking of its life amongst the debris that has been tossed haphazardly, by humans, into the ocean, not thinking of what this is doing to the ocean's environment. This assemblage artwork is set against a mosaic of fireglass, and embellished with plastic bottles, plastic wrap, toy truck, dried plants, rocks and sand providing a variety of textures of this fish's environment. This particular combination of items is intended to show the infiltration of debris and plastics that are rapidly become common place in the Earth's oceans, symbolic of how polluted the Earth's waters have become, created by plastic waste as well as other items not suitable or sustainable for a viable life.
A Rock Cook (also known as 'small mouth wrasse') is a colourful small-sized fish found living among seaweeds and eelgrass beds located throughout the ocean waters of Britain and Ireland as well as in the eastern Atlantic from Norway to Portugal and Greenland. The maximum size of a Rock Cook is 15-18 cm (approximately 6 in). The body is greenish brown with cream undersides and the head is yellow-orange with blue stripes. It eats various crustaceans and is also considered a 'cleaner fish' since it removes ectoparasites from other fish. It is ironic that this fish is a 'cleaner fish', taking care of other fish, yet must live in a polluted ocean, due to the thoughtless humans with whom it shares its environment.
Fish #175 Rock Cook Centrolabrus exoletus ~ Tasha Easton
Watercolour 15 x 20 cm
The Rock Cook lives in most British waters, with the exception of the southern North Sea. It tends to live in shallow inshore areas among seaweeds (particularly eelgrass) and near rocks. It has a life expectancy of about 8 years. It is the rarest of the five UK wrasse species. It grows to about 15cm in length and is easily distinguished by five spiny rays on the anal fin. It is mostly greenish brown, but with flecks of blue or purple on the fins. Its sides are yellow-brown, with a cream underbelly. It has small, pointed teeth that project forward from the mouth. The Rock Cook feeds on small invertebrates and crustaceans and also cleans parasites from other fish. It is often used in salmon cages as a cleaner fish. The fish pair to breed, with the male building a dish shaped nest and guarding the eggs.
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