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Courtney Mattison

Malum Geminos

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Courtney Mattison

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Malum Geminos by Courtney Mattison
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Malum Geminos

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Courtney Mattison

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Overview

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2019

Glazed stoneware and porcelain

Unique Work

Dimensions: 213.4cm (H) x 635cm (W) x 55.9cm (D) / 84" (H) x 250" (W) x 22" (D)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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This hand-sculpted ceramic wall relief is comprised of bleached coral forms branching horizontally in a fractal-inspired, book-matched pattern across the gallery wall. Clusters of gelatinous white polyps appear to have had their supportive skeletons dissolved by acidic seawater. The title Malum Geminos, meaning “evil twins” in Latin, pays homage to a statement by the Honorable Jane Lubchenco, PhD at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen referring to ocean acidification as the “equally evil twin” of climate change, caused by carbon dioxide emissions dissolving into the sea. The skeletal nature of this design also references Dr. Lubchenco’s other profound comparison of ocean acidification as “osteoporosis of the sea.”

Photographed by Paul Mutino at the Florence Griswold Museum during the 2019 exhibition "Fragile Earth," curated by Dr. Jenny Parsons.

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Artist Profile

Born: 1985

Hometown: San Francisco

Based in: Los Angeles

Courtney Mattison hand-crafts intricate and large-scale ceramic sculptural works inspired by the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face. Her work has been commissioned internationally for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia and Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance ship. Her exhibition history includes solo shows at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters. In 2020, the U.N. Postal Administration published Mattison’s work on a stamp to commemorate Earth Day. Born in 1985 and raised in San Francisco, Mattison received a BA in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and an MA in environmental studies from Brown University with thesis credits at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Her work has been featured by Smithsonian Magazine, Good Morning America, Oprah Magazine and the BBC. She lives and works in Los Angeles.


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