Angels of the water

Creative agency Taxi installed a poignant sculpture on a British Columbia beach on Thursday to raise awareness of Canada’s annual Drowning Prevention Week. The large scale installation features 75 sand angels, each representing a person who drowned in the region last year…

Creative agency Taxi installed a poignant sculpture on a British Columbia beach on Thursday to raise awareness of Canada’s annual Drowning Prevention Week. The large scale installation features 75 sand angels, each representing a person who drowned in the region last year…

The installation was created for the Life Saving Society of British Columbia, and is the third Taxi has produced for the charity to promote Drowning Prevention Week, which takes place in late July each year. In 2011, it decorated a series of flutter boards (polystyrene boards used in swimming lessons) to look like tombstones and the following year, commissioned a sand sculpture of a woman holding a lifeless child beside a sign which warned “The beach isn’t all fun and games”:

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s sculpture is a hard hitting reminder of the importance of acting safely in the sea, and a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in tragic and, in some cases, avoidable accidents. Angels are accompanied by a placard listing the age and gender of each person, as well as the circumstances in which they died.

“Each year, between 60 and 80 people drown in British Columbia and it’s not just people that can’t swim – it can be anything from the absence of a life jacket, an unsupervised child or one too many drinks,” says Taxi creative director James Sadler. “The scale of that number when visualised has quite an impact…and it’s a very eerie reminder about how dangerous a seemingly carefree day around the water can be,” he says.

“Every life lost is someone’s angel. Whether it be a mother, father, brother, sister or friend, people take comfort in believing a lost life, or angel if you will, is looking over them, so for me the execution is both comforting and disturbing at the same time,” he adds.

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