There are times when artistic forms transcend their enjoyable aspect and also become a kind of protest. It isn’t easy to balance this duality correctly without diluting the essence of the message. However, these factors come together in perfect tandem in the project “Crochet Coral Reef: Toxic Seas”, currently on show at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.
The project began ten years ago in Los Angeles, when sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim began to knit the first pieces of what would later become a unique travelling exhibition. It shows the beauty of the coral reefs that exist in the world, and the delicate fragility of their ecosystems. The piece, crocheted entirely by hand, mixes spun textiles with different kinds of plastic, creating true ecosystems which faithfully recreate life in the deep sea.
However, pollution, climate change and human interference have contributed irrevocably to the gradual disappearance of these underwater paradises. It was the concern raised in 2005 about the disappearance of a large part of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia that led to the creation of this unique project.
The exhibition at MAD recreates three major habitats in crochet with countless details, and a collection of small individual pieces that faithfully depict the enormous range of textures, colours and shapes.
The exhibition also shows various examples of how life is slowly deteriorating in these habitats. Curated for the MAD by Samantha de Tillio.
15 September 2016 – 22 January 2017
Photos courtesy of the institute for Figuring/MAD
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