Since 2005, Torlen has been exploring themes of work, especially commercial fishermen, and the ocean’s fisheries. The oceans and the fisheries are challenged, posed by human interaction and degradation. According to one study, commercial fishing will be finished in 2048. BPs Gulf of Mexico’s disaster in the summer of 2010 contributes to the the decline. Bluefin Tuna, a favorite theme, spawn only in two bodies of water–the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Responding to this crisis, Torlen completed several series of works on paper including The Ocean is Black (TOIB), Gravitas, Angry, and Twenty-Forty-Eight. The monoprints and monotypes combine old and new technology in multiple layers-computer editing, digital printing, and traditional printmaking methods. The Ocean is Black and the other titles are part of the ongoing visual essay Sanger Fra Mor.