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Saanich artist and diver creates artwork from marine debris

Tiare Buoys finds meaning in turning ocean waste into art
Saanich artist Tiare Buoys paints marine debris to turn trash into art. (Photo courtesy of Tiare Buoys)

Partnering art with diving and environmentalism is how a local Saanich resident is advocating for cleaner oceans.

Tiare Buoys turns marine debris into artwork and has been doing so since 2018, with artwork currently on display at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre until Nov. 1.

Buoys is a freelance photographer, underwater videographer, artist, commercial fisherman, and diver who is passionate about cleaning up the watery world.

She gleans a lot of meaning from taking ocean waste and turning it into something beautiful.

“It started when my boyfriend brought me an old buoy that he found in his storage container, he asked me if I’d be able to do something with it,” said Buoys. She then painted and hung that buoy, and from there forward, people were showing interest in purchasing them, so she began her artwork on marine pieces full-time.

With every buoy that she paints, Buoys traces it back to where it came from because a deep understanding of the story behind each piece will help others find that same connection.

“I think people need to be curious about where marine debris comes from so that we can start doing better,” said Buoys. “One way of doing that would be to choose sustainable seafood, reach out to a fisherman in your community to help you understand what’s going on in our oceans.”

Buoys is also an ocean ambassador with the Marine Stewardship Council. To learn more about Buoys’ work, visit her website at

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