2023, Senior, Interactive & Multimedia
Climate Hero: Johnny Gaskell, Reef Catchments
Project Description: Coral Gridscape is an installation created to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of coral reef bleaching and to encourage people to take action to protect these important ecosystems.
The installation aims to convey the message that we must take responsibility for protecting the ocean environment, specifically coral reefs, and raise public awareness of the dangers of climate change. To achieve this goal, I divided the installation into different sections to help visitors better understand the issues. In the center, I placed an LED screen displaying the history of coral reef bleaching, YouTube videos of Gaskell explaining his contribution to restoring the reefs, and his amazing photos of the marine world posted on his Instagram account. The laser paper on top of the screen reflects colorful patterns onto the white coral models on the side, contrasting with the plain white dead corals, emphasizing how our Earth would be much more beautiful without negative impacts from climate change. On the side, a walkway allows visitors to immerse themselves in the installation, surrounded by dead corals as if they are in the ocean. This appeals to their emotions and alerts them to the dreadful reality of bleaching. On the other side of the installation, a workshop area is provided for children and adults to create their own clay models of corals for fun and display on the installation. Through their collaboration, the installation can become even more impactful. Additionally, books are provided on the shelf, and benches allow people to relax and read.
As my model (20in x 16in x 16in) is equally proportional to one that’s 10 times smaller than the real one, the real installation’s dimensions will be 18ft x 13ft x 13ft. Ideally, the installation should be located on a beach or open space to attract the attention of all visitors and encourage reflection on their actions. This is also an excellent way to encourage divers to take more photos of coral reefs and report any potential issues to Gaskell or Reef Catchments to prevent further damage. Furthermore, setting up the installation in parks, shopping malls, and schools would also be ideal as large numbers of people pass through these locations daily. The installation not only serves as an advertisement but also provides benches and workshops for people to rest and relax, making it an entertaining addition to any area.
The installation aims to highlight the devastating impact of coral reef death and raise awareness about the importance of protecting these vital ecosystems. The grid structure is inspired by the work of marine biologist Johnny Gaskell, who is part of the organization Reef Catchments, which is dedicated to sustaining and improving the natural environment. To restore the Great Barrier Reef, scientists developed two solutions: a marine park and an "out of water farm," which utilizes a grid frame structure to grow corals in nurseries. His spirit not only influenced my design but also motivated me to spread awareness and contribute my efforts to protect this planet. Furthermore, I hope my art can inspire others to pay attention to this topic and become involved in coral reef conservation. After realizing this need, I believe our community can reduce our carbon footprint since greenhouse gases are the primary cause of climate change. As travelers visiting destinations with coral reefs, we should also be responsible and avoid touching or standing on the coral reefs, as this can damage delicate structures. It's also important to use reef-safe sunscreen to prevent chemicals from harming the reefs.