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Keep the Sea Plastic Free

Maria Francesca Melis

Regular price $125.00

Unit price per 



Each of our ARTivism print editions is meticulously hand-crafted. Please allow up to 10 weeks for order delivery. Thank you for your patience.

Regular Edition

Fine-art Giclée print on Canson Aquarelle 310gsm museum-grade archival paper

A1 | 23.4 x 33.1 Inches

Limited Edition of 35

Hand-numbered and digitally signed

Variant Edition

Fine-art Giclée print on Canson Aquarelle 310gsm museum-grade archival paper

A1 | 23.4 x 33.1 Inches

Limited Edition of 15

Hand-numbered and digitally signed


Printed with  by Static Medium

Artist Statement

"Growing up in Sardinia, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean, the sea held great significance for me from a young age. The waters surrounding this island are among the most beautiful and transparent in the world. Some of my earliest memories involve entire days spent at the beach with my family, playing with my cousins, and collecting stones and shells.

My dad has always been an excellent swimmer. He would spend hours underwater, exploring and discovering sea plants and creatures like octopuses, sea eels, and sea urchins, which he would excitedly share with us upon returning.

The enduring reverence for water in Sardinia has always been evident, reflected in the wealth of archaeological sites and historical records. This includes the majestic sacred wells that still grace the Sardinian countryside today. Its importance to the islanders was so profound that it became woven into the fabric of their daily lives. Today, its mystical allure lives on through stories passed down from generation to generation.

When I moved to New Zealand, I found myself surrounded not just by any sea, but by the vast Pacific Ocean, home to a myriad of fascinating creatures, some of which were entirely new to me, while others, like 'kinas' (Māori for sea urchins) were familiar.

Initially intimidated by the ocean's vastness, I was captivated by the indigenous people's deep respect and protective attitude towards the waters. For Māori people, water holds profound spiritual significance, with the waters of their ancestral lands intimately tied to their identity. They believe that whatever happens to the water affects them personally.

In both New Zealand and Sardinia, I discovered a meaningful connection despite the geographical distance. Both places share a deep spiritual relationship with water, stemming from their origins and shaping their cultural identity.

This piece talks about the importance of preserving traditions as a means of connecting with our past, nurturing our cultural heritage, and fostering a sense of identity and belonging. Additionally, it underscores the crucial need to safeguard our water sources from pollution, ensuring the health and well-being of present and future generations. By cherishing our traditions and protecting our waterways, we honor our roots and fulfill our responsibility to preserve the natural resources essential for sustaining life on Earth."

- Maria Francesca Melis

Artist Bio

Maria Francesca Melis is a graphic designer and multidisciplinary creative, with a particular interest in illustration, photography and typography.

Her work is heavily influenced by medical and botanical vintage illustrations. In her illustrations, the plant and the floral world is an omnipresent component that she uses as a decorative element, but most importantly to celebrate the vivid memories of her childhood, spent in close contact with nature and animals, and to satisfy the need to return to those places with her imagination.

The tradition of Sardinian decorative art is a fundamental component of her research and in her work, there are often representations of clothes and fabrics that recall ancient embroideries and textures of the rich cultural heritage of the island she come from.

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