For years, Nicole Larkin has been capturing the ocean pools along the coasts of New South Wales in a project titled The Wild Edge. Mostly constructed as public works endeavors more than 80 years ago, the geometric spaces often are nestled in Australia’s rocky shorelines, surrounded by crashing waves and filled with jewel-toned waters. In a statement about the project, Larkin described the swimming sanctuaries as offering visitors “intimate encounters with the landscape.”
They are largely opportunistic interventions that exploit the natural topography of the rock platform to make a protected and convenient swimming area. They often exhibit the “bare minimum,” dematerializing into the rock platform yet providing amenity and facilitating easy access to the ocean.
The Sydney-based architect, artist, and designer tells Colossal that she’s concerned with how the ocean landscapes are being altered by climate change. Larkin says designing additional pools could be used “to facilitate community amenity and access to the ocean, but also to act as protective structures which buffer against storms,” as the area deals with the global crisis.
For a geographical look at coast-side retreats, check out Larkin’s interactive collaboration with Guardian Australia. More aerial shots of the 60 remaining ocean oases are on the artist’s Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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Two researchers at the University of Haifa have developed Sea-Thru, an algorithmic method for color-correcting underwater images. The tool allows scientists—and laypeople—to understand and contextualize the “true” colors of aquatic phenomena like fish, coral, and anemones. Sea-Thru was developed by Derya Akkaynak and Tali Treibitz and is a more accurate re-reading of colors, rather than editing tones artificially in Photoshop.
In the paper’s abstract, the duo explain that the way colors come through underwater is not uniform (which is why the aforementioned Photoshop doctoring isn’t accurate). Rather, the distance from the lens and the reflectivity of the captured object determines how its colors appear. So, the way sand appears is differently modulated by the water than, say the scales on a fish passing above the sand. Sea-Thru uses an algorithm to accurately and efficiently adjust images taken underwater.
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Luke Shadbolt captures the roiling majesty of ocean waves in his large-scale aquatic photographs. Printed at 150 x 100 cm (nearly 6 feet by 3.3 feet), the color and black-and-white images show the dramatic shapes and dynamic textures of open water when agitated by major weather events.
In a statement on the artist’s website, the Maelstrom series is described as “a cursory glimpse of the exchange, cycle and balance of power fundamental to the functioning of our planet and its oceans… Maelstrom encourages the viewer to reflect upon our own naivety and place as a species within the greater natural balance of power.”
The Acquiesce the Front series similarly seeks to draw connections between the human experience and our natural environment. “The physical manifestations portrayed are a deft reflection of those storms that are implicit to the human condition,” and our individual frailty in the face of big events. Yet Shadbolt finds hope in the potential “to learn and grow from these events. While we may be powerless to stop the storm from approaching, we can work to redirect the flood.”
Shadbolt is represented by Michael Reid Gallery in Sydney and Berlin. The Sydney-based photographer and creative director tells Colossal that he is currently in the process of opening a studio in New York City. You can explore more of his dramatic photographs on Instagram and Facebook.
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Dramatic views of Hawaii’s landscape by Jason Wright depart from typical depictions of the high profile islands. Rather than showing sandy beaches and palm trees, Wright’s images highlight the fierce and rugged places where land meets sea. Wright, who grew up in Hawaii, shares with Colossal that his experience as a life-long surfer informs his perspective as a photographer.
Being exposed to the power and ever changing conditions that affect our state—this power of the ocean thrills and terrifies me and keeps me coming back. Once you step foot on land’s edge, with no lifeguards or crowds, you know your place and who is in control. I love that I am drawn to a mix of excitement and fear that this experience can bring.
Wright explains that he creates his unique images by hiking in to scout locations, determining the positioning of the sun or moon and the water’s swell in his composition, and shooting in extremely low light, under a full moon or at sundown. Waiting for the right moment can sometimes take months.
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Although she doesn’t live right by the ocean, artist Emily Botelho channels her passion for marine landscapes with frequent trips to explore where soil and sea meet. On these trips, she photographs the colors and textures that appear on the rocky waterfront: lichen, seaweed, and small sea creatures all create unique visual patterns. The Manchester, U.K.-based artist then prints her photographs on cotton fabric and embellishes them with long straight stitches, tight beadwork, sea shells, semi-precious stones, and three-dimensional tufts.
Botelho, who creates work under the name Salt Stitches, formerly had a career in the fashion industry, and only took up embroidery about a year ago. In that time she has built a substantial following sharing and selling her hoop-based works on Instagram and Etsy. Botelho is also participating in an online auction with fiber art curator The Fiber Studio, which launches on June 28, 2019.
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Combining art and activism, the PangeaSeed Foundation is a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that is doing its part to help save Earth’s waters with its “Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans” international mural program. Since its inception in 2014, over 350 ocean-themed murals have been painted in 15 countries by the organization’s network of over 300 artists. With activations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, and several other locations around the globe, the initiative engages the public and educates the world about critical environmental issues threatening our most precious resources through art, film screenings, and discussions.
PangeaSeed founder and executive director Tré Packard tells Colossal that when it comes to choosing which artists to work with and what they should paint, balance and community are key. “We always aim to create a balance between international, national and local artists,” he said. “Over the years, with the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans program being nomadic, we’ve learned the importance of community ownership of the murals once we’ve packed up and left town. There tends to be so many incredible local creatives in the areas we host projects, so we work hand in hand with the local project director to help identify local artists who we invite to participate in the project.” Artists are given a list of topics to choose from and together with the team narrow it down to one. The murals are site-specific in that they address issues relevant to the places where they are painted. Some artists have even connected with local scientists and activists during the planning stage to better inform their designs.
“The beauty of public art lies in the fact that it is a public good where even ‘non-artsy’ folks can be touched and empowered by experiencing the process or the finished product,” Packard said about the mural program. “In addition to encouraging other artists to create for a purpose, our chief goal is to effect positive behavioral change at the individual and community level, so we’re thrilled when fans who aren’t artistically inclined are moved.” As for ways that people can get involved and help, he suggests finding ways to use less plastic, eating sustainable seafood, and voting for politicians with ocean-minded ideas.
Packard says that there are some dream projects on the horizon for Sea Walls, but those details are still under wraps for now. To learn more about the foundation and its upcoming activations, follow @pangeaseed and @Seawalls_ on social media.
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At Under, a new restaurant completed by architecture and design firm Snøhetta (previously), splashes of aquamarine light dance across tabletops and dishes. This greenish blue hue is emitted from a portal at the front of the space that, as its name suggests, peers underwater and into the depths of the North Sea. The half-sunken restaurant is located at the southernmost tip of Norway, with one side of the structure built into the coastline, and the other resting against the seabed.
Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explains that the new building “challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.” In this building,” he continues, “you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline.”
In addition to serving as a restaurant, the submerged building also functions as a marine research center. Interdisciplinary research teams will be invited to study the surrounding the biodiversity found along the southern coast, with the goal of building a machine learning tool that will monitor and track the species at regular intervals. Under’s design was also planned with these populations in mind. The building was built to function as an artificial coral reef, and will become integrated into the sea as limpets, kelp, and other underwater life begin to grow from its concrete shell.
The underwater restaurant opens for its first service today, and will seat 35-40 guests nightly. You can see more images from the new restaurant and learn about its menu on their website. (via Dezeen)
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