Driving environmental awareness through public art

Ocean Recovery Alliance
Challenges

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that 80% of rubbish found in the ocean comes from land, much of which gets washed into our waters from our streets and communities via storm drains, gutters and sewage systems. In fact, storm drains are one of the largest conduits for carrying rubbish from land to sea.

At a time when Hong Kong has experienced unprecedented levels of rubbish washed up on coastlines and beaches, the need to inform and educate the public of the detrimental effects of littering onto streets and into storm grates became more important than ever. Awareness was needed to remind the public that we are all linked to the ocean, even when walking down the street.

Approach

Launched by NGO Ocean Recovery Alliance, ‘Grate Art’ is a Hong Hong project and one of the first environmental undertakings which combines local art with storm drain pollution awareness.

  • The ‘art for awareness’ project collaborated with leading local and Chinese artists to design ceramic tiles which were installed above storm grates in the Southside district. The vibrant artistic messages became permanent public art features, serving to remind generations old and new of the detrimental effects of littering into storm grates
  • Sinclair Comms worked to raise awareness about the pioneering project through targeted pitching to news, art and lifestyle media, securing stories which communicated the project’s powerful message
  • Ocean Recovery Alliance founder Doug Woodring was positioned as the most knowledgeable spokesperson on the subject. Sinclair secured interviews with Woodring and high-profile publications
Ocean Recovery Alliance - Grate Art
Outcomes
  • By generating awareness of the project’s cause, a stronger position was established for the project to be implemented across Hong Kong and eventually replicated globally
  • Cemented partnerships to amplify project’s mouthpiece and grow audience reach, in particular the opportunity for Grate Art to be part of local art events, festivals and fairs
  • Successfully spread awareness of the Grate Art project to Hong Kongers through securing +30 articles and interviews in English and Chinese publications, including impactful front page of South China Morning Post
  • Features in The Standard, Apple Daily, Oriental Daily and Sing Tao
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