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Glazed stoneware and porcelain
Dimensions: 304.8cm (H) x 426.7cm (W) x 55.9cm (D) / 120" (H) x 168" (W) x 22" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Our Changing Seas III is the third in my series of large-scale ceramic coral reef installations that celebrates the exotic beauty of coral reefs while highlighting the threats they face. This piece explores the rapid transition that corals throughout the tropics and subtropics are making from healthy, colorful and diverse to sickened and bleached as a result of human-caused climate change, which is putting coral reefs into the proverbial “eye of the storm.” At its heart, this piece celebrates my favorite aesthetic aspects of a healthy coral reef surrounded by the sterile white skeletons of bleached corals swirling like the rotating winds of a cyclone. There is still time for corals to recover even from the point of bleaching if we act quickly to decrease the threats we impose. Perhaps if my work can influence viewers to appreciate the fragile beauty of our endangered coral reef ecosystems, we will act more wholeheartedly to help them recover and even thrive.
Photos by Arthur Evans for the Tang Museum
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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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