By Harry Urgent
An environmental movement started in the Antipodes has made its way to London. Toothfish describes itself as an “international poster project” which began during 2010 and aims to raise awareness of the destruction of the earth’s natural resources.
Posters have recently appeared on the disused Berners Hotel in Fitzrovia. The hotel joined the list of major neglected sites in Fitzrovia after it closed its doors in 2006, passing through a series of owners becoming dormant and forgotten to this day.
Now posters featuring sheep by the mysterious Toothfish have appeared on the hoardings. But what do these posters mean?
Since the first major Banksy piece in Fitzrovia on adjacent Newman Street was painted over by Westminster Council it is only a matter of time before Toothfish disappears too – but this apparently is the whole point.
The artwork is not permanently attached and people are encouraged to remove the posters, relocate and recycle them to create or find by accident some context and meaning between the scene and the poster, with a request to document this by taking a photograph and passing the images on to toothfish.org.
This campaign to raise awareness of environmental concerns both local and global has appeared in Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Ukraine, the USA, and now in London. The slogan “The War Against Nature is Over!” was particularly pertinent when posted in Japan just before the recent tsunami.
They also highlight historic buildings under threat in a focused interactive project that links in to spotlighting global issues.
The toothfish is a fish native to the seas around Antarctica and is a species under threat. Greenpeace have a campaign to raise awareness of the toothfish. So it seems the plight of the toothfish has become a symbol for an international campaign: a poster child representing the threat to the natural world from human activity.