Greenpeace Ghost Birds Oil on Canvas

Greenpeace brought New Zealanders up to speed with the dreadful impact on wildlife after the shipwrecked ship Rena spilled 350 tonnes of oil into the Bay of Plenty. Oil on Canvas, a travelling art show, featured prints of actual birds killed by oil spills. Online at, the prints consisted of imprints of the bodies of a little blue penguin and a diving petrel dipped in the oil that killed it and 20,000 other seabirds. The Oil on Canvas project was promoted in a short film, accompanied by Radiohead’s “No Surprises” track. Greenpeace sent out individual direct marketing packs to celebrities, each containing sealed oil prints. Greenpeace hopes the project will serve as a stark warning against the far greater risk posed by deep sea oil drilling in NZ waters.

Oil on Canvas Prints

Click on the image below to play the Oil on Canvas video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the background video in YouTube

The price of entry to the Oil on Canvas exhibition was signing a petition to stop all plans to open up New Zealand’s coastal waters to offshore oil drilling and stop any expansion of coal mining in the country.

Oil on Canvas Exhibition

Oil on Canvas Petition at Exhibition

Oil on Canvas Oil Spill Infographic

Oil on Canvas Birds

Oil on Canvas Prints

Oil on Canvas Visitor

Oil on Canvas Direct Marketing


The Oil On Canvas campaign was developed at Publicis Mojo, Auckland, by executive creative director Mike Barnwell, creative director Lachlan McPherson, copywriters/art directors Barnwell and Guy Denniston, and agency producer Liz Garneau (film) and Conan Gorbey (print).

Filming was shot by director James Solomon via Flying Fish with producer Angela da Silva. Editor was Lisa Greenfield. Post production was by Andrew Timms and Mat Ellin.

Music rights were organised by Tim Moon at Media Music Ltd.