Gear up, jump in, and let the current sweep you gently away, as you effortlessly glide through a foreign blue landscape. Take note of each vibrant colour, florescent glow, surreal shape, methodically intricate detail, and the curious creatures you meet along the way - you are visiting a coral reef.
ART FOR THE OCEAN
As an active diver and visual artist, my current ongoing series ART FOR THE OCEAN, has developed into a passion driven research project. It an artistic initiative, aiming to learn more about the critical role coral reefs play in our world, understanding the threats they face, while documenting their stages of health, devastation, and recovery, and the organizations who are the front-lines making a difference
What are corals exactly? Coral polyps are tiny, soft-bodied organisms related to sea anemones and jellyfish. As colonies grow over hundreds and thousands of years, they join with other colonies and become reefs (1.) Coral reefs cover less than one quarter of 1% of the entire marine environment, yet are home to 25% of all marine life, and form nurseries for a quarter of the ocean’s fish (2.)
With each dive, my love and concern for the ocean grows. On a recent trip, the coral damage and neglect I witnessed was significant. The reefs were bleached, the fish were scarce, and the ocean floor was covered with broken and dead corals. Bleaching is caused by heat stress associated with warming waters (3.) It is one of the most catastrophic environmental issues occurring in our lifetime, and it’s happening all across the globe. With the additional overwhelming effects of pollution, urban runoff and plastic waste, the ocean is struggling to maintain stability, resulting in an significant change in our oceans.
ART FOR THE OCEAN is a platform to create awareness and promote change and action through art. In the studio, my process is quite diligent. I use watercolours, acrylics and pastels as quick and expressive methods to document coral landscapes – both from memories, feelings, and photographs. I love corals for being so diverse and exotic, and unlike anything above the surface. I interpret my ideas through overlapping layers, lines and marks– capturing a truly abstract and surreal subject matter. Meanwhile, my unique textile installations accurately reflect the tactile and fragile nature of corals. I hand-sculpt and felt wool, and incorporate intricate weaving techniques into my work. I love to slowly build up each structure, like a growing reef, as I integrate thoughtfully collected and locally sourced, hand-dyed natural fibres and recycled materials.
The intention behind the series is to share the unique beauty of the ocean, educate communities on ocean conservation, and draw awareness to climate change and opportunities that directly support their survival. A portion of each sale goes directly to organizations supporting ocean conservation.
A portion of each sale goes directly to organizations supporting ocean conservation. To purchase any artworks please contact.
IN THE LAST 30 YEARS, WE'VE LOST 50% OF CORALS GLOBALLY.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOW THEIR GREATEST THREAT AND IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY 10% CAN SURVIVE PAST 2050. WITHOUT URGENT ACTION, CORAL REEFS FACE EXTINCTION. (5)
3. Professor Michael Gillings, Bleached, Macquaie University