In 2017 – not so long ago – South African street artist, Sonny, embarked on a new mural project called To the Bone in support of animal awareness.

According to the artist, the campaign aims to highlight and raise funds for endangered wildlife across the globe. Following this idea, the new piece was titled Nanuk, the Inuit name for polar bear which means ‘animal worthy of respect’, and intends to honour these beautiful animals as a part of the Basel House Festival.

“For these gigantic creatures, sea ice really is their platform for life; it’s where they get their main source of prey and meet their mates. But over the last 35 years, researchers funded by NASA that have been monitoring the sea ice melt via satellites have found that on average spring melting is 3 to 9 days earlier per decade, and fall freeze-up is 3 to 9 days later per decade. That means that up to seven weeks of good sea ice habitat for polar bears has been lost. And even worse, if this trend continues we will lose a further 6-7 weeks of ice periods by 2050, causing an expected two thirds of the polar bear population to disappear. Without action, it is predicted that by 2100, we could lose wild polar bears altogether based on ice melt alone!.

While these are terrifying predictions for polar bears, global warming is an issue that affects every species on the planet, including ourselves. And by burning fossil fuels, we are the biggest contributor to climate change. With every year becoming increasingly hotter than the last, and the growing onslaught of devastating storms, floods and droughts that this brings, it’s impossible to ignore global warming and the destruction we’re causing to our planet, all it’s species, and ourselves… Without making massive changes, its seems that the sixth extinction is inevitable.

Through this artwork, Sonny hopes to bring awareness to these issues, while honouring the beauty of these arctic animals, the master of the bears.”

Basel House Mural Festival is a three-day, first-of-its-kind mural festival based around the legendary walls of the iconic RC Cola Plant in Miami’s Wynwood Art District during Miami Art Week 2017. Throughout the festival they invited local and international artists who transformed an often-overlooked section of the neighbourhood into an open air art museum.
Over the course of four days, more than 50 mural projects and over 80 top street artists from across the globe painted large murals in the Wynwood Art District, including a digital arts and VR playground intended to bring art to life.
The curation of Basel House Mural Festival has been collaborative in nature; something rare in the art world, drawing on a cohort of global experts in the Urban Arts Scene. Major contributors include: Festival Creative Director, Stephanie Kassoy, SWARM Events & Nekto Collective Festival Art Director; Pedro Amos, artist & co-owner of Miami’s Best Graffiti Guides; Urban Nation Museum for Contemporary Art; WYN 317 Gallery; Iryna Kanishcheva, Independent Curator & Photographer; Yo Miami and The Bushwick Collective. Daily Mural Tours will be run by Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide. 
Street Art Media Partners include: Artsynonym, Graffiti Street, StreetArtNYC, StreetArtToday,  Street Art United States, Urbanite Webzine, to name a few.

Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.