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Art & Culture

Colossal corals: An intersection of science and art

By May 8, 2020August 27th, 2020No Comments
Courtesy of Courtney Mattison by Amanda Brooks

As scientific data doesn’t always inspire, artist Courtney Mattison creates larger than life rainforests of the sea to generate an emotional connection and advocate for change.

Inspired by the fragile beauty and precarious future of coral reefs, LA-based Courtney Mattison recreates rainforests of the sea as intricate ceramic sculptures. With a background in marine ecology and sculpture, her larger than life pieces help to raise awareness amongst the public and policy makers, advocating for change and marine conservation.

Coral reefs are currently under significant stress due to pollution and climate change. Loss of colour and life is likely to become the reality for 90% of coral reefs by 2050. Through her art, Mattison tries to bridge the gap between art and science, as scientific data don’t always inspire an emotional connection. She says: ‘If I can help people experience the exuberance of coral reefs, they might be moved to defend them.’

Her colourful and delicate sculptures convey the abundance of life and beauty hidden underneath the ocean surface. According to Mattison, “By experiencing my work on a large wall, viewers may feel as if they are hovering over the seafloor and discovering details from every angle.”