Hooked on Life

Hooked on Life is a tribute to the last marine megafauna. The series draws attention to the rate at which our oceans are diminishing through life-sized sculptures of endangered marine animals. The thousands of longline fishing hooks used to create these spectacular sculptures are an indictment against the modern fishing industry.

In East Timor, fishhooks that date as far back as 42,000 years have been unearthed. These ancient tools, handcrafted from seashells, relate to a time when we were more in harmony with our natural environment.

For Vincent Mock, these fishing hooks now serve as a symbol for humankind’s destruction of the marine environment. Every day, the fishing industry relentlessly deploys millions of longline fish hooks into the water, killing a multitude of seabirds, dolphins, sharks, whales and sea turtles, as well as innumerable non-target fish which are lured into fishing nets by the bait. Large numbers of by-catch fish are reportedly thrown back into the water dead. Longline fishing hooks catch more sharks as by-catch than any other fishing method on the high seas and as such pose a serious threat to our biodiversity.

From a distance, the life-size shark, turtle, tuna, hammerhead, and manta ray sculptures appear to be featherlight, suspended in space as if free-floating weightlessly. Like real fish, they seem to celebrate the open space as their ocean.

Made up of thousands of razor-sharp stainless steel fishhooks which have laboriously been put together, these complex creatures can actually weigh hundreds of kilos. The deadly hooks that the fishing industry so often uses to empty our oceans are so intricately welded together that they resemble schools of fish synchronously swimming through the air.

The sculptures are meant to remind us of a sense of unity by transforming man’s destructive tools and intentions into something beautiful. Through his art, Vincent Mock intends to draw attention to the dangers our marine wildlife is exposed to by capturing both sides involved. Rather than spreading a negative narrative on the issue, Mock aims to inspire our modern era by showcasing the beauty of nature and evoking a feeling of oneness.

Hooked on life

  • 2016 - Present
  • Longline Fishooks
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