Queen of the Arctic

In 2015 Shell is planning to drill for oil in the fragile Alaskan Arctic. There have been plenty of crises in the past that allow us to quickly recall the irreparable damage that can occur when there are complications in the drilling process, pipe system, and even inevitable long term consequences from drilling for oil. Moreover, the subsequent burning of fossil fuels causes air pollution, ocean acidification, ecosystem and habitat destruction, and even climate change. Not to mention, many scientists now are recognizing and confirming that a large portion of natural gas and oil should remain in the ground if we are serious about preventing the destructive global impact of climate change.

For this creative project, the environmental damage represented was primarily that of an oil spill. If an oil spill occurs in the Arctic, it would be impossible to clean up properly, just like other spills that have happened in the past. Cleaning strategies may include sectioning off the bulk of the spill, and diluting the oil with chemicals. These fixes, though better than an uncontrolled spill, are still merely bandaids used in attempt to repair preventable damage. In addition, the chemicals used to dilute the oil that results in the appearance of cleaner water are not eco-friendly, and used in enormous amounts. This inability to restore the natural balance of an ecosystem after a spill means that the beautiful, fragile, and important Arctic would be negatively changed and be damaged forever.

As a fashion designer and photographer I wanted to express my concern about the danger of arctic oil drilling by creating an image depicting an environmental disaster. We can never picture what it would be like if something like this happens in the real life.

The photo represents the sadness and hopelessness a Queen of the Arctic would experience if there was an oil spill in her dream. We hope that the polar bears and other wildlife in the area will never be forced to experience such a disastrous situation and the beautiful Arctic will stay clean and untouched by oil companies and their unquenched desires to drill for oil in this precious area.

Polar bears and other species living in the Arctic cannot protect themselves from oil spill disasters, but we can sure help prevent such a catastrophe. In fact, we must! We must protect the Arctic from oil drilling. It is a moral obligation that we possess for ourselves and for future generations as stewards of the earth. There will be a moment in the near future where we will be looking at our planet and we will be confronting our previous inability to take a stand against the detrimental environmental decisions made by governing bodies, corporate companies, and us as a society. We then will be asking ourselves: why didn’t we prevent it?

Recently we had the honour to be featured among other amazing artists on Save the Arctic Facebook page to celebrate 1 MILLION supporters. The Queen of the Arctic artwork is a part of a gallery called “Your Art for the Arctic”.


Photography and Costume Design Marie Copps

Team credits

Photography and Costume Design - Marie Copps | Creative Director - Michelle Aristocrat | Model - Sofiya Chorniy - Miss Earth Canada 2013 | Make-up, Hair, Nails - Valentina Dang | Make-up provided by MarieNatie Cosmetics | Images of nature - Getty Images | Post-production - Marie Copps

Please take a moment and sing the petition to protect the fragile Arctic, your input can make a difference. Thank you! https://www.savethearctic.org/

Using Format