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Creative surfers João Parrinha of Portugal, Spain’s Luis de Dios and German Xandi Kreuzeder, founded Skeleton Sea in 2005.
Between catching waves the trio began salvaging litter from the beach including brightly polished whale and fish bones, old Chinese glass buoys wrapped in ropes and rusty metal parts from shipwrecks and porcelain pieces.
Soon, the three surfers realised there was a lot they could do with the beach rubbish. They were inspired to bring it to life, creating skeleton-like art installations to spread the message of the importance of keeping the oceans clean.
Over the years the three friends have worked individually and collectively gathering beach trash across the world to create art and help to share their environmental message.
The team are thrilled to be joining the Volvo Ocean Race’s 39,000 nautical mile journey through four of the world’s oceans and across five continents. What an amazing platform to share this important message to all corners of the globe.
The Lisbon born artist, musician and sculptor was born in 1961. Aged 16, João found a passion for the ocean when he discovered surfing. Despite having to share a second-hand surfboard with his brother and wear woollen jumpers to keep warm rather than a wetsuit, his passion grew. In the late 1980s João joined the country’s first surfboard manufacturers Lipsticks and competed in international competitions, before moving on to use surfboards for art. In 1990 João exhibited his first art collection. Since then, he has exhibited across Portugal and Germany while working as an art director in TV, cinema and music videos.
Born in Munich in 1962, Xandi was raised with a love for the outdoors and the extreme, competing in skiing and windsurfing from a young age. Xandi spent a decade travelling the world as a pro-windsurfer competing among the world’s top 20. Today, Xandi has turned his hands and creative eye to photography. His on-going quest for the new led him to discover bizarre art and inspired his own creations. Collaborations with like-minded friends eventually led Xandi to João, with the pair exhibiting their first collection in Munich in 1995.
Luis de Dios
Luis has never liked biographies. He believes that all you need to know about him is that his life “has been a fantastic and brutal chaos”. Growing up in Alicante and now living a sporting lifestyle in Fuerteventura, Luis loves mixing his passion for art and surfing with his friends at Skeleton Sea. “It’s a tremendous feeling to find a huge piece of rusty iron and later on, watch it to become part of a sculpture,” he says. As for his art, he says he is always “searching without rest, experimenting without repetition. The result is a catalyst for a new reaction of my artistic ingredients.”
The human-sized sculpture created from beach trash, steel and wire found on Kenyan beaches strikes a powerful pose. Xandi Kreuzeder and Joao Parrinha created the skeletal albatross at Msambweni, on Kenya’s south coast in 2011.
The sculpture stands 1.5m tall and spans 1.95m. Its stomach is filled with plastic objects collected from nearby beaches, to highlight the dangers posed to seabirds by discarded plastics. Tragically seabirds are prone to mistaking plastics for food, dying from consuming everything from bottle caps, plastic bags, pens and razors.
Flip Flop Fish
This colourful character is guaranteed to turn heads. Xandi Kreuzeder and Luis de Dios created the Flip-Flop Fish in 2008 after a massive flip-flop search on Fuerteventura’s coastline on the Canary Islands. More than 250 single flip-flops were found washed ashore. In a non-stop 24-hour effort using nothing more than a generator, welding gear, a circular saw and metal fencing, the legendary Flip Flop Fish was created.
Xandi hopes Skeleton Sea will inspire others to help clean the world’s oceans and beaches. “It’s more important than ever for people to do their bit to protect the environment, even if it means picking up just a few bits of rubbish at their local beach. If our message gets through to just a few people, then we believe it’s been worth all the effort.”
Created from rusted tuna cans and steel by all three Skeleton Sea artists, the Tuna measures a massive 2.3m in length. The environmentally minded artists created the sculpture to represent all species of its kind, which are facing threats from pollution and over-fishing. Every single can used to create the Tuna was found at Majanicho beach during a clean-up at the north shore of Fuerteventura.
17 Oct 2012
Best Use of Technology, Event Look, Environment and Sustainability: the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 has been short-listed for three awards at the International Sports Event Management Conference which takes place in November in London.
11 Oct 2012
8 Jul 2012
24 Jun 2012
21 Jun 2012
The Volvo Ocean Race’s environmental initiative ‘Keep the Oceans Clean!’ is teaming up with the local Surfrider Foundation and around 120 children from local French schools for a beach clean on June 22 at the picturesque village of Bétahon, near Ambon, about 50 miles from the Lorient Race Village.