Collection: Sea-phalophore

"Sea-phalophore" is an embodied practice-based exploration into relational ocean ontologies. The Sea Saints are headless humans whose heads have been replaced with sea-life, water and the oceanic ecosystems. Inspired by the Zen 'headless mediation,' a form of meditation that urges participants to recognize the absence of a distinct self or perspective. This realization of not having a head, challenges conventional perception and invites a deeper connection with the environment – in this case, the ocean. 

A cephalophore (from the Greek for "head-carrier") is a saint who is generally depicted carrying their own severed head. In Christian art, this was usually meant to signify that the subject in question had been martyred by beheading. Just as 'cephalophore'  saints carried their severed heads as symbols of martyrdom, McGarry draws a parallel to the environmental martyrdom we impose on ourselves by harming the oceans.

Through this lens, "Sea-phalophore" takes on a profound ecological narrative. The ocean, often regarded as a boundless resource, is revealed as sacred, deserving reverence and protection. McGarry's exploration raises questions about the consequences of human actions on the ocean's ancestral spirits. The excavation of the deep-sea bed, particularly in the context of mining, is seen as an act of severing our own connection to the sacred depths.

"Sea-phalophore" responds to wealthy nations exploitation of the oceans, mirroring the exploitative practices that carved up continents during the Berlin accord. 

The artwork serves as a poignant reminder that the well-being of the ocean is inextricably linked to our own, emphasizing the vital need for responsible stewardship. As the tides of environmental consciousness continue to rise, "Sea-phalophore" urges us to reflect on the sacred, interdependent relationship we share with the sea, encouraging us to honour and protect it for generations to come.