Help: a powerful cry lit by Enel X to help the oceans

A new artwork stands in the Roman Forum in Rome – HELP the Ocean. Its message is one of environmental sustainability, an appeal that has been rendered even more powerful by artistic lighting by Enel X

Published on 21 June 2018

Help: a powerful cry lit by Enel X to help the oceans

It’s called the Garbage Patch State and is a virtual nation. It has no inhabitants, but a huge surface area formed by the five largest islands of plastic floating in the oceans across our planet. The Garbage Patch State is considered to be the world’s second largest country after Russia, and has its own flag and diplomatic representative.

It gained recognition as a state in 2013. This symbolic and deliberately provocative move was intended to highlight the urgent nature of the problem posed by plastic pollution. The “state” was founded by Italian artist Maria Cristina Finucci, who, since its establishment has served as its ambassador. The aim of her installations is to raise public awareness around the world of one of today’s most pressing environmental issues. It’s a mission that we at Enel X share and wish to support, backed by our experience in enhancing the impact of works of art.


HELP the Ocean

The artist-activist’s most recent creation is her work “HELP the Ocean”, now on display in one of the world’s most famous locations, the Roman Forum in Rome. The installation comprises 76 plastic cages, each measuring 1 metre by 1 metre by two, standing in the area of the Basilica Giulia and configured in such a way as to spell out, when viewed from above, the single word HELP, a stark, powerful appeal.

Seen from up close the cages communicate another message, not in words but in a visual form with an intense aesthetic impact. Every cage is covered with a net full of millions of plastic bottle tops originally adrift in the environment and then collected by thousands of volunteers specifically for this artwork, helping reduce environmental pollution. In this way the cages appear as a multi-coloured patchwork, with a similar shape to the foundation blocks of the ancient Roman structures that surround them, but with a striking chromatic contrast that is sure to inspire a strong emotional response from the visitors to the site.

The work was opened on World Oceans Day, 8 June. The date was doubly symbolic due to the fact that the day’s theme this year was the fight against plastic pollution, almost as if it were a sort of national event for the Garbage Patch State, in fact.

We’re very happy to have made a contribution to publicising and promoting the HELP message to protect the seas and the environment and to encourage a more aware and rational use of resources. That’s why Enel X works every day to develop technologically innovative solutions with the aim of improving our lives and safeguarding the environment we live in

Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel X


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