The original celebrity of Above & Below Gallery is our Green Sea Turtle, titled ‘Cruisin’.
Aptly named after her captured demeanor, Brooke snagged this beautiful portrait at the Great Barrier Reef. The dappled light rays dancing on Cruisin’s shell and the coral reef below him adds to the picturesque quality making him much loved by gallery goers.
'Cruisin' is the ultimate oceanic chiller, hanging out in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, her life is but one big holiday. Of the six species of marine turtles found on the Great Barrier Reef, 'Cruisin' and her Green Turtle mates are the most abundant. Her species is so well-known that it made an appearance in the Great Barrier Reef blockbuster movie, Finding Nemo – remember the loveable, little dude, Crush?
If you’re looking to spot one then check out coral reefs, rocky reefs and seagrass meadows. You can distinguish 'Cruisin' (Green Turtles) from other species by the smooth, high-domed shell and olive green colouring, with highlights of muddy-red, brown and black. The baby green turtles have dark, almost black shells, with white edges on their shell, flippers and the underside of them.
Chowing down on algae, seagrass, mangrove fruit and jellyfish makes these guys ‘mostly’ herbivorous. While we don’t know how old our girl ‘Cruisin’ is, we do know that females are 45 when they first start breeding. Nesting females range in size and weight to 91-124cm long and 98-184kg in weight. Hatchlings emerge between December and May and can be found up and down the Queensland coast. When they first hatch the little Green Turtles are 4 – 5cm in length and range from 19-28g in weight – cute right!
In Airlie Beach we have a turtle rescue centre founded by Libby Edge (she also founded Eco Barge Clean Seas) and is doing absolutely amazing things to better our ocean environment. Brooke has been a volunteer at the rescue centre and loves being a part of something so special. We also have a donation tin at the gallery and are working on some new products that will be focussed on the Green Sea Turtle, to raise further funds for this awesome initiative.
If you want to help out too, go directly to their site where you can donate, be it time, research or funds.
You can also purchase this print - he's a limited edition and only comes in aluminium. Check it out here