Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Ocean 'Artivist' Creates Breathtaking Coral Reef Sculptures

Ocean 'Artivist' Creates Breathtaking Coral Reef Sculptures

By Clara Chaisson

Courtney Mattison's large-scale ceramic coral reef installations are a labor of love. The artist-slash-ocean-advocate (Mattison likes to call herself an ocean “artivist") shapes every branch and ridge of her porcelain colonies by hand, using chopsticks to poke thousands of holes for just the right texture and meditating on how the calcium carbonate found in the glaze is the same building block used by the polyps themselves.

“I enjoy feeling like a coral," Mattison writes in her artist statement, “patiently and methodically constructing large, delicate, stony structures that can change an ecosystem."

Courtney Mattison stands in front of "Our Changing Seas III." Photo credit: Arthur Evans

Delicate is the adjective that Mattison most hopes viewers of her art will take with them. Her works, which have been exhibited at the headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, are “inspired by the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face."

These pictures come from Sea Change, her new solo show currently on display at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art until April 17. The sprawling Our Changing Seas III, above, has a vibrantly colored center, but the outer fringes are the ghostly white of a bleached reef. Mattison understands all too well that the decisions we make about how to treat our Blue Planet could make or break her beloved corals.

Detail of "Our Changing Seas III." Photo credit: Arthur Evans

Detail of "Our Changing Seas III." Photo credit: Arthur Evans

"Hope Spots, Micronesian Islands II." Photo credit: Courtney Mattison

Read page 1

"Hope Spots, Outer Seychelles II." Photo credit: Courtney Mattison

"Aqueduct." Photo credit: Glen McClure

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Nature-Inspired Rugs Transform Your Home Into a Natural Landscape

Massive Starfish Die-Off Linked to Warming Oceans

Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet Saved by Sea Shepherd Crew

Artist Turns Old Skateboards Into Beautiful New Guitars

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch