Lifelines is a large-scale sculpture exploring issues of marine pollution and climate change with a first exhibition in London at Trinity Buoy Wharf as a partner in the Totally Thames festival 2021. This project has been supported using public funding by Arts Council England. It is Audio Described.
The aim of Lifelines is for the public to become as easily familiar with the locations and forms of coral reefs as they are with the shape of continents. I am seeking to create a sea-change in people’s thinking where out of sight is no longer out of mind.
Coral reefs are the rainforests of the oceans. They are incredible, diverse ecosystems, and although they cover less than 1% of the ocean, they support 25% of all marine life. In addition to their cultural value, they act as early warning beacons for the health of the oceans, help to protect shorelines and provide food and livelihood for around 1/2 billion people.
Since the industrialisation of 1950s half of all coral reefs have been lost to pollution, over-fishing, sea temperature rises and coral bleaching. The frequency and intensity of these events leave corals with inadequate time to neither recover nor adapt and increase their resilience to these rapid environmental changes. Without urgent and significant action coral reefs could be one of the first major ecosystems to collapse as a direct consequence of climate change.