A coral reef is the foundation of ocean health, supporting millions of species. It is the embodiment of symbiosis. Without the microalgae that photosynthesises inside of the coral’s flesh, the coral cannot continue to exist, and in turn without the coral the microalgae cannot exist. They are completely reliant on each other. These creatures are a clear representation of the entanglement and interdependence of natural systems. A coral does not have a life expectancy, it can continue to grow and exist as long as their environment is habitable. However it has become clear in recent years that an increase in water temperature of as little as two degrees Celsius, will cause the coral to bleach. After a coral has bleached it is still alive but cannot survive for long periods in this state. As we approach more tipping points in the natural world, where systems and structures reach a critical point of leaving safe and predictable rhythms, the earth becomes immensely volatile and unpredictable.
Diminished Reef III is the smallest sculpture of this series and is made of cast reactive and recycled Bullseye glass, combined with sand and silver foil. I used glass for its transformational qualities and introduced silver foil to cause a reactive and volatile glass form during the firing process. I aim to explore commonalities between the human and nonhuman in my practice and included an abstract protrusion of a human hand to evoke this reaction in the viewer. The sculpture is a based on the skeletal remains of a diminished reef. This sculpture aims to serve as a reminder of the stark remnants we will be left with if we do not react to climate change with a sense of urgency.