Emerging from the sea onto land billions of years ago, life took its aquatic origins along; a Hypersea, encapsulated in an architecture of veins and root-systems. We are mostly made out of water. It moves in and out of us, sustaining us. From this point of view, it is difficult to separate organism from environment.
The connecting principle is Metabolism- in our body, environment and in our society. The metabolism in our bodies is powered by our breath and dependent on healthy lungs. The air we breathe is affected by the interaction of our society in its environment.
ice melting, sea levels rising
“Coral Bleaching in itself is a stress response, much like a fever in humans is a stress response. If the temperature spikes just a little bit above their normal range, corals will start to bleach. The small plants that live inside their tissues, their ability to photosynthesize and feed the animal host is impaired....."
".......The animal essentially senses, 'what I have got inside of me is not doing what I expect it to do', and as happens with us when we get a bacteria; we try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. That is exactly what these animals do. They try to get rid of those plants that are no longer functional, and leave behind the transparent naked tissue. They have lost the very most important food source that they have. So they are starting to starve.”
Ruth Gates, marine biologist. From the documentary: Chasing Coral 2017
The bright white you see at first is the skeleton. If the reef is not living, it will overgrow with algae and the structure will disintegrate. The whole ecosystem will change and many dependent species will disappear.
Many attempts are made to regrow coral, as the reefs form natural protection from damaging waves during storms and hurricanes.
Research released a year ago found there were more than 5tn pieces of plastic floating in the seas, many just 5mm across. Larger items can be a threat to sea life such as turtles and seals, which swallow them.
A carelessly discarded plastic bag can break down in the sea, especially in warmer waters, but the process releases toxic chemicals that may be digested by fish and end up in the human food chain.
Scientists have also found that countless tiny fragments drift to the bottom of the oceans, carpeting the sea bed. The environmental and health impact of this is unknown.
The reflecting, printed pattern on the voile intersects the video projection, a network representing the Web of Life.
The location for this veil should be a darkened space and if the veil hangs a few meters off the wall in the room, the visitor can also move behind it and become immersed in the projection.
creating the ocean inside
about the artist
Eveline Kolijn is a Dutch-Canadian artist whose interest in the biological sciences and concern for the environment is expressed through printmaking and sculptural installations made from found synthetic materials. Her interests were encouraged by an international childhood spent in France, Venezuela, Belgium, the Dutch Antilles, the Netherlands and Australia.
Natural history has always permeated her life. She grew up in the Caribbean, where she and her family collected and corresponded on Caribbean shells, building an extensive and well-documented collection. In 2008, the collection was donated to Naturalis, the museum of natural history in Leiden, the Netherlands. A variety of ideas on evolution influenced her upbringing as well. From books on this topic she absorbed images depicting visible and invisible life and connected them with the forms and patterns found on the beach and in the sea.
making the veil
The first Ocean Veil was printed with white inks and mica powder on sheer polyester voile, which Eveline sewed into a cylindrical shape to mimic a plankton collecting net. She carved a linocut and handprinted a phytoplankton pattern that was both reflecting and blocking light, depending on the position of the light source. This printed mica-base turned out to be an amazing reflective screen for video projection. She created a new plankton pattern on a 55 x 90 cm linoleum sheet and printed a projection-surface of 180 cm high and 240 cm wide. She is now exploring possibilities of creating an even larger Veil.
All images copyright Eveline Kolijn