New Ceramic Coral Reefs by Courtney Mattison Draw Attention to Earth’s Changing Oceans

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet, all images via Courtney Mattison

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

Doubling as an artist and ocean advocate, Courtney Mattison (previously) produces large-scale ceramic installations that draw attention to conservation of our planet’s seas. Her latest installation “Aqueduct” showcases hundreds of porcelain sea creatures including anemones, sponges, and coral sprouting from a porcelain air duct. The piece asks us to imagine the plight of these undersea creatures as tropical sea temperatures begin to rise, asking where they might migrate to once their homes have been rendered uninhabitable.

In addition to large-scale installations, Mattison also sculpts more intimate vignettes. Her series “Hope Spots” depicts areas in our seas that are critical to the overall health of the ecosystem. Each of the sculptures is a representation of one of these spots as identified by Mattison’s longtime hero and marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle.

The Denver-based artist studied marine ecology and ceramics at Skidmore College and received a Master of Arts degree in environmental studies from Brown University. Last year she was named one of the top 100 “Ocean Heroes” by Origin Magazine. Her most recent exhibition is “Sea Change” currently at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art through April 17, 2016. You can see more of Mattison’s finished and in-progress installations on her Instagram.

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

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“Coral Sea II” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 16.5 x 11.5 inches

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“Chagos Archipelago II” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 16 x 9 inches

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“Outer Seychelles II” (2015), glazed stoneware, 17 x 16 x 9 inches

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“Micronesian Islands” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 17.5 x 12.5 inches

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