Marine Knight is the marine conservation inspired, SciArtist name for UK based Marine Scientist & Artist Bradley Knight. Bradley believes that a blended Science-New Media Art approach is the way forward when it comes to community outreach and education, as well as communicating conservation and science stories across audiences.
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What is your favorite shark and why?
Ah, this one is hard. I love them all for so many different reasons! Yet if I had to pick one I think I'd go with the cookiecutter shark. They're just so different, and their approach to survival is pretty unique for a shark. Not just that, but their name, how they'll get to cables in nuke submarines and bite chunks off other bigger sharks.
What is one shark you would love to see/swim with?
The Great white shark! 100%! I'd absolutely love to test my metal and swim with one! The bigger the better! I think I'd enjoy it, but also be scared the first time.
Why did you start creating shark artwork?
To spread love for diversity really. Marine biodiversity is a massive inspiration to me in not just my art, my science, but also my personal life. Just diversity alone shapes the very world around us and I love that! As cringe as it sounds, the last couple of years has been pretty explosive for conversations on diversity and social issues surrounding ethnicity, sexuality, gender. Especially here in the UK as we've also had Brexit to contend with, and the whole splitting away from the EU and not embracing the diversity of the other European countries and cultures and working for a better future together. Theres still a lot of resistance on some of those key social issues, and here that traditional English fear of change and diversity is stronger than ever. So I thought I'd pick the most diverse shark order I could think of, and try and hack away at peoples fear of diversity by putting my artwork to people. My logic is that more people than not are amazed by sharks, they look at them with awe. So if you can appreciate, celebrate and accept the diversity in shark species, why can't you with your own species? So I put that to people, well at least I hope I do, and at the same time communicate shark conservation, marine science, and SciArt.
In your opinion, is art important for conservation and why?
Yes! It's very important! something I have only recently come to realize since beginning my journey into SciArt. Art in some capacity has been intertwined with the sciences, biology especially since the term science was coined. Using art to visualize science and conservation and share that with audiences helps connect the audience to whatever your message is. It fosters emotion in the eyes of the viewer. It's that emotion, that intensity or type of emotion that art radiates that dictates whether someone makes a conscious change in their life or not. Do they donate to a charity or not? Do they become more conscious of whether their seafood is more sustainable, or not? So absolutely art is vital to that visual, emotional, component of conservation.
What message do you hope people take away from your work?
To love and not be scared of diversity! It makes us all stronger, supports and benefits us all! Marine biodiversity in the ocean drives the very biological processes that give us life, gives us breath, and gives us a home!
What is your favorite shark fact?
That for millions of years sharks have protected our reefs, our oceans, our planet. That they are the most important species in the ocean. All life on Earth depends on life in the ocean that sharks ecologically control.