The Urchin Corals installation: objects and films, were created between 2019 and 2021, originally commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia for the NGV 2020 International Triennial. The NGV Triennial brings together international and Australian artists, accomplished and emerging. The project was later acquired to the NGV collection, and exhibited with new additions in Sampling the Future, NGV Australia in 2021.
Through our installation, we encouraged the audience to witness and experience the change in the underwater world. The 3d printed corals and underwater films, brought to the surface problems in two Australian locations – Port Phillip Bay and the Great Barrier Reef. Both locations are suffering from anthropogenic threats, leading to rapid decline in the marine ecosystems. The two underwater films reveal hidden beauty and problems of the locations, and 3d printed corals made with biopolymer-sea urchin shell materials, offer a snapshot into exploration of biomaterials for additive manufacturing and research in marine conservation technology.
The work has led to and inspired further material research we are currently undertaking for coral restoration purposes, as part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program for the Great Barrier Reef.
Urchin Corals 2020
Photogrammetry and 3D-models of the Montipora and Pocillopora sp.: by The Hydrous
3D-models Acropora sp.: Pirjo Haikola
Research and production assistant: Javier de Urquijo Isoard
Research partner and supply of the Heliocidaris erythrogramma sea urchins: Fletcher Warren-Myers and Sustainable Aquaculture Laboratory – Temperate and Tropical (SALTT), School of BioSciences, The University of MelbournePolymer processing support: Mike Allan, RMIT Chemical and Environmental Engineering, School of Design, College of Design and Social context, RMIT University, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Calcifiers of Change (VIC) 2019
Film by: Tom Park
Research partner: Fletcher Warren-Myers and Sustainable Aquaculture Laboratory – Temperate and Tropical (SALTT), School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne
Vessel and crew: RMIT Underwater Club and Qing Hong Loh, Chris Peterson, Jack McQuinn
Film locations: Port Phillip Bay and Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Calcifiers of Change (QLD) 2021
Film by: Tom Park
Vessel and logistics: Coral Sea Dreaming
Film locations: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Feature image: Sean Fennessy