Saturday, 2 June 2012

OK Coral.

As part of the upcoming first issue of art & science magazine Synthia, I have been asked to illustrate an article by marine biologist Daniel Franklin about the process of coral bleaching. Synthia has been a twinkle in the eye of Laurie Ramsell for a while now, aiming to showcase crossovers between scientific enquiry and artistic practice to mutually beneficial effect, and I am delighted that he has asked me to be involved.

On this basis I have been making some studies of coral and related aquatic titbits (dinoflagellates to you and me...). The coral landscape above was inspired by the following quote: an irregular fortress, its architecture seemingly haphazard; there are crevices and caverns, terraces and shaded clefts, and the other walls are festooned with a panoply of intricate and colourful decorations* and I think my main goal with the accompanying illustration will be to demonstrate the diversity of coral reefs, and in so doing set out that the deterioration of these beautiful organisms is not just an isolated tragedy, but affects the entirety of the thriving ecosystem based around coral.
Unfortunately these guys (Ceratium fucus, Ceratium tripos, and Ceratium macroceros)** will not be used as they are not the types of dinoflagellates found inside coral, but I think it's nice they came into fruition anyway, especially as Symbiodinium are nowhere near as interesting looking.

*Taken from Roessler, C. (1986). Coral Kingdoms. New York: Abrams Inc.
**Kirby, R. (2010). Ocean Drifters - A Secret World Beneath the Waves. UK: Studio Cactus Ltd. p. 40.



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