This series came to fruition after seeing the 2017 documentary “Chasing Coral” directed by Jeff Orlowski. It was alarming and disturbing to see the declining state of our coral reefs around the globe. I walked 1515 of the film and asked “what can I do?”. After some careful thought, I decided to make art as a way to bring attention to this very troubling problem that most people are unaware of.
There are many reefs across the globe that are being affected. My focus for this series starts at Gray’s Reef which is off the coast of Georgia and ends at the world’s second largest reef system which is off the coast of Belize in Central America. What better place to start this series than in my own backyard?
The nautical maps used in several pieces highlight these various locations. The sea fans are used to mask parts of the map area, which inspired the title of the series. Next in the series, is a group of four sea fans with a background of what healthy coral and bleached coral look like. The tan being healthy coral and the white signifying bleached coral. In a few pieces I embedded words describing some issues of climate change. The final works in the series reflect on what can be seen once you descend below the ocean’s surface. The reefs themselves are shown in an ethereal way which the encaustic medium captures so well.
Many have taken up the cause of saving the rain forests because their destruction is so visible. Our coral reefs deserve the same conservation efforts, even though they are less visible. Coral reefs are in less than 1% of the ocean, but are home to 25% of all known marine species.
Gray's Reef 31.25N 80.55W
What Lies Beneath?
Belize's Great Barrier Reef & Beyond
Snapshots from Below - Jamaica
Just the facts.