• Anvika Khaitan Research Scholars Program, Harvard Student Agencies, In collaboration with Learn with Leaders



Art, Environmental Issues, Ocean Pollution, Plastic Waste, Awareness


This study delves into the effectiveness of using art as a medium for promoting awareness about ocean pollution. Through a comprehensive review of existing literature and original survey data collected in New Delhi, the research highlights the critical gap in public knowledge regarding artists and artworks focused on addressing ocean pollution. Despite widespread concern about the harmful impacts of ocean pollution, the survey findings reveal a striking lack of awareness among respondents regarding the role of art in conveying this message. This underscores the need to explore and amplify the potential of artistic interventions in environmental advocacy. Furthermore, by examining case studies such as "Bristol Whales" and "Bridge," which employ recycled materials sourced from the ocean to create compelling narratives, the study illuminates the transformative power of art in building emotional connections and deepening the understanding of complex environmental issues, in this case, ocean pollution. In advocating for increased collaboration between artists, scientists, and policymakers, the research underscores the urgency of leveraging art's communicative prowess to inspire collective action and preserve the fragile ecosystems of our oceans. This study serves as a call to action for harnessing art as a tool for environmental awareness and advocacy in the ongoing fight against ocean pollution.


I. Stefatos, A., Charalampakis, M., Papatheodorou, G., Ferentinos, G. (1999) Marine Debris on the Seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea: Examples from Two Enclosed Gulfs in Western Greece, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 38, Issue 5, p389-393, ISSN 0025-326X,

II. Curtis, D. J., Reid, N., & Ballard, G. (2012). Communicating Ecology Through Art: What Scientists Think. Ecology and Society, 17(2).

III. Cózar, A., Echevarría, F., González-Gordillo, J. I., Irigoien, X., Úbeda, B., Hernández-León, S., Palma, Á. T., Navarro, S., García-de-Lomas, J., Ruiz, A., Fernández-de-Puelles, M. L., & Duarte, C. M. (2014). Plastic debris in the open ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(28), 10239–10244.

IV. Gelcich, S., Buckley, P.J., Pinnegar, J.K., Chilvers, J., Lorenzoni, I., Terry, G., Guerrero, M., Castilla, J.C., Valdebenito, A., & Duarte, C.M. (2014). Public awareness, concerns, and priorities about anthropogenic impacts on marine environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 15042 - 15047.

V. Jung, Julia et al. “Doubling Down on Wicked Problems: Ocean ArtScience Collaborations for a Sustainable Future.” Frontiers in Marine Science (2022).

VI. José G.B Derraik, The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 44, Issue 9, 2002, Pages 842-852

VII. Nannicelli, Ted, 'Environmental Art and the Interaction of Ethical and Aesthetic Value', Artistic Creation and Ethical Criticism, THINKING ART SERIES (New York, 2020; online edn, Oxford Academic, 18 June 2020),, accessed 17 Mar. 2024.

VIII. Michałowska M. The Art of (Up)Recycling: How Plastic Debris Has Become a Matter of Art?. Adv Environ Eng Res 2021; 2(4): 025; doi:10.21926/aeer.2104025.

IX. Weis, Judith S.. Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know. United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2015.

X. Wendel, Joanna. “New data aid estimate of ocean's plastic content.” Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 95 (2014): 477-477.

XI. Willis, K., Serra-Gonçalves, C., Richardson, K., Schuyler, Q., Pedersen, H., Anderson, K., Stark, J.S., Vince, J., Hardesty, B.D., Wilcox, C., Nowak, B.F., Lavers, J.L., Semmens, J.M., Greeno, D., Macleod, C., Frederiksen, N.P., & Puskic, P.S. (2020). Cleaner seas: reducing marine pollution. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32, 145 - 160.

XII. Fanning, K. Influence of atmospheric pollution on nutrient limitation in the ocean. Nature 339, 460–463 (1989).

XIII. Sommer, L. K., & Klöckner, C. A. (2021). Does activist art have the capacity to raise awareness in audiences?—A study on climate change art at the ArtCOP21 event in Paris. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15(1), 60–75.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Anvika Khaitan. (2024). ARTISTIC WAVES: HOW EFFECTIVE IS ART AS A MEDIUM FOR CREATING AWARENESS ABOUT OCEAN POLLUTION?. International Education and Research Journal (IERJ), 10(6).