In my series “Utopian Reefscapes” I paint a fictional ocean of abundance- the one we are losing due to coral bleaching and other environmental threats.
I love that second when the veil of the sea lifts and reveals this mysterious and magical universe. One thing was clear to me since my first dive-the underwater world is incredibly fascinating, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It felt like I was exploring a new planet, with alien life, colors, textures and shapes.
I imagine a diver of the future seeing nothing but dead monochromatic ocean bottom, deprived of color, texture and movement. I feel it’s my duty to convey the mesmerizing underwater world while it lasts. Instead of meticulously documenting particular images I took while diving, I paint the underwater garden of Eden where corals of all shapes and colors thrive.
50% of the world's coral reefs have already been destroyed, and another 40% are expected to disappear in the next 20 years due to warming oceans, pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction-all caused by humans, directly or indirectly. By 2100 coral reefs might cease to exist. Coral reefs will become history and slowly sink into oblivion. How can we care so little about the underwater world when it covers 70% of our planet? We are just guests on this Earth- very demanding guests, with horrible manners, who keep talking about themselves while never stopping to listen or ask questions.
I’m hopeful “Utopian Reefscapes" will inspire in viewers a curiosity, awe, joy, and sense of shared responsibility for our beautiful, fragile planet Earth.
20% of sales from "Utopian Reefscapes" show at Caldwell Galley Hudson was donated to Coral Reef Alliance to help them to save coral reefs around the world.
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is an environmental NGO that is on a mission to save the world’s coral reefs. They work collaboratively with communities to reduce direct threats to reefs in ways that provide lasting benefits to people and wildlife. In parallel, CORAL is actively expanding the scientific understanding of how corals adapt to climate change and applying this information to give reefs the best chance to thrive for generations to come.
Watch a short video about my artistic process creating coral reefs paintings and the dangers corals are facing.