Flags of Convenience
I was lucky enough to be invited by Sherrie Wilson Projects to paint as part of Underline festival painting rail bridge pylons. As the location is in the heart of the port of Fremantle I thought it was a perfect spot for a mural bringing awareness to the cynical practice used by most large shipping companies called: Flags of Convenience. The work features graphics and typography from shipping companies and the flags of the countries that have the most ships falsely registered to them. Flags of Convenience is the practice whereby large shipping and cruising companies will not register their ships in there home countries (generally developed western countries) but will instead register their ships in and fly the flag of a poor developing country. By flying the flag of this country the company only needs to abide by the poorer countries Labour, Tax, Environmental and Safety laws and standards, a very cynical and immoral practice in my book.
Furthermore with the signing of the TPP “free” trade agreement these companies will have access to Australia's coastal shipping routes. Well known Australian Cruising company North Star Cruises asked a high ranking bureaucrat what implications this would have on their business. The advice that was given was that they should deregister their ships from Australia and re register the ships in a Flag of Convenience country, fire the Australian staff and hire workers from overseas to remain "competitive".