Our Changing Seas II: An Atlantic & Caribbean coral reef story

2013
Glazed stoneware + porcelain; fiberboard; aluminum
300 x 200 x 100 cm

This large-scale ceramic coral reef sculptural installation is the second in Courtney’s Our Changing Seas series (the first is at AAAS headquarters in Washington DC). This piece was completed in September 2013 and is now on permanent display at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center’s Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research in South Florida. It stands about nine feet tall, three by six feet wide and is entirely covered in hand-sculpted and glazed ceramic corals, sponges and other reef-dwelling invertebrates from Western Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs. The piece depicts a 360° transition from a healthy, vibrant coral reef to a bleached and algal-dominated one and back again to illustrate the human-caused threats reefs face with a sense of hope for recovery.

 

About the Artist

Courtney Mattison creates intricately detailed ceramic sculptural works inspired by the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face. Her work raises awareness for the protection of our blue planet, urging policy makers and the public to conserve our changing seas. Mattison’s delicate and large-scale ceramic sculptural installations have been commissioned for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies, the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and private patrons. Her work has been exhibited at prominent venues including the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Museum of Ceramic Art and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Born in 1985 and raised in San Francisco, Mattison received an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and a Master of Arts degree in environmental studies from Brown University with coursework at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Her work has been featured by international outlets including Smithsonian Magazine, Good Morning America, Oprah Magazine, CNN Indonesia, BBC World Service and Science Magazine. She lives and works in Los Angeles. To view more of her work click below.

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