The Reef Revenant
2017, High School, Art
The ocean has held a very precious place in my heart ever since my childhood. This underwater realm and all of the amazing creatures that lived in it fascinated me. But at this very moment, the mesmerizing beauty of this marine biodiversity is being destroyed by climate change. Rising levels of carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels are increasing the acidity of ocean water, weakening coral reef structure. Half of the coral reefs on Earth have died over the last 30 years. Moreover, scientists predict that 90% of the world’s coral will be dead by 2050, which is worrisome since they are home to 25% of all marine species and support half a billion people. I created an arch of coral out of clay using glazes of minimal and dull color in order to imitate the haunting effects of coral bleaching due to global warming and reef destruction due to air pollution. However, I included hints of blues and greens as a reminder that there is still a glimmer of hope. If the world seriously cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions and scientists are successful in breeding heat-resistant breeds of coral, we may give many coral reefs a chance to recover.