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In my practice, I explore a general question: what is nature and how do we position ourselves in it? My interest in natural history and concern for the environment, were fostered by growing up in the Caribbean during the 70’s and returning in recent years. I have observed both the beauty of coral reefs and their current demise as a result of the ocean’s changing chemistry. The Ocean Inside is based on my intensely personal experience of witnessing the devastating effects of climate change and other human-made environmental stresses on the coral reefs first hand.
The translucent projection veil is hand-printed with reflecting mica in a 4×4 feet relief-cut tiling pattern, depicting a network of plankton which represents the web of life. Handmade patterns intersect and juxtapose the digital projection. I invite the viewer to move behind the Ocean Veil and merge with the projected seascapes that are reflected on, or passing through a printed web of plankton, transforming abstract concepts such as climate change or pollution into a connecting, personal experience.
The video footage I filmed presents beauty and degradation in the ocean, human impact on reefs and seashore, melded with images of my art. It serves to heighten awareness on climate change aﬀecting the oceans, generate ecological literacy and to reﬂect on passage of time, human exceptionalism and connectedness of life.
The veil has to be hung centrally in a darkened room. A second black fabric veil of similar size will be hung two meters behind the veil. The viewer will be invited to move around the veil and also enter the space between and merge with the seascapes that are reflected on or passing through the printed pattern.
Soundscapes are a very important element. To complement the soundtrack of natural recorded soundscapes and some electronic sound-effects, I have recorded waves of voices that speak 16 short statements in their native language. The following languages are recorded: Dutch, English, French, Greek, Japanese, Mandarin, Nahuatl, Papiamentoe, Polish, Russian, Shona, Spanish, Tagalog, Te Reo Mãori and Urdu. I have recorded and added some personal commentary as well.