We’ve heard about multiple hazards threatening the well-being of our ocean, from a profusion of plastic junk to rising temperatures to excess CO2 – but what have you done about it? No, this is not your typical tree-hugger guilt trip! I want to amaze you with the creativity and cross-cultural genius of this particular project:
The Crochet Coral Reef
Margaret Wertheim is a physicist and writer who has, among other things, noted that the underlying mathematical description of the growth patterns of coral -their hyperbolic geometry -was best described through the rhythm and pattern of crochet.
“Corals and sponges — all those frilly crenellated structures — are actually biological manifestations of hyperbolic geometry. And although brainless corals can make hyperbolic forms literally of the bodies, it’s very difficult for humans to make models of this. And in fact, the best way to do it is with crochet.”
This realization led to a collaborative project to create coral reefs in crochet by needle artists around the globe, a unique method for using art to bring attention to the corals.
It’s difficult to confront the serious threat of coral bleaching, without the sense of helplessness that can cause us to throw up our hands and cry “I recycle! what do you want ME to do about it, give up my CAR?!”
When Margaret and her twin Christine started the project in 2005, they joked about the reefs disappearing. Today, NOA scientist are warning about record level coral die-off. These tiny brainless creatures build cities that can be seen from space.
When I listened to Margaret in a recent episode of the On Being podcast, I was struck by her gift for crossing connections among science, art and spirituality, something that is clearly dear to my heart here at Art, Spirit, Nature.
You can listen to the interview here:
3 thoughts on “Crochet Coral Reef”
Thanks Patrise! I love knowing about scientists with this kind of heart
Hi Patrise, I am a knitwear designer who is currently exploring shapes that celebrate the organic forms found in foliose lichens. In the current pattern I’m working on, I am looking for a photograph that shows the wonderful curvy structures. May I have permission to use one of your photographs on this page in my pattern (with credit of course)? Thank you for your consideration.
so sorry I missed your comment in a timely way! Of Course, borrow away! Let creativity reign!