Confluence (Our Changing Seas V) pays homage to Indonesia’s coral reefs and the value they provide to Indonesians and the world. the monumental, intricately hand-detailed ceramic coral reef sculptural installation is set to inspires a sense of excitement in viewers about the connections we share to reefs while empowering individuals and policymakers to act to conserve. it seeks to celebrate the fragile beauty, diversity and value of Indonesia’s vibrant reefs while highlighting the human-caused threats they face.
Indonesia lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle—the ‘Amazon of the sea.’ With more invertebrate species than anywhere else on the planet and nearly 4,000 species of fish, this exceptional region provides food, livelihoods, coastal protection and joy to nearly 400 million people across six countries. Indonesia’s archipelago of over 17,000 islands is a keystone for this rich ecosystem, with the health of its human population directly linked to that of the reef. Yet today it faces unprecedented threats.
Chosing to use ceramic as a source material for its presence in coral as calcium carbonate, the installation was specifically handcrafted to fit in the underlining aesthetic of mundane glazes and ceramic wares.
Photos by Amanda Brooks for Art in Embassies, US Department of State
Corals are so sensitive that the slightest change to the temperature or chemistry of surrounding seawater can cause rapid devastation. Sea temperatures warmed by climate change stress corals and force them to lose the colorful algae that live within their tissues and provide an important food source, causing these coral hosts to ‘bleach’ white and starve. The installation was commissioned for permanent collection in the the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art indonesia.
Courtney Mattison is an internationally recognized artist and ocean advocate working to inspire policy makers and the public to conserve our changing seas. She creates intricately detailed ceramic sculptural works inspired by the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face in an effort to promote awareness for the protection of our blue planet.