My latest series Corallium was inspired by the rejuvenation of the coral reefs in the Playa Santa Bay in southwest Puerto Rico. As recently as 15 years ago, the reefs were almost completely decimated due to pollution and boat traffic. In 2011, the Obama administration undertook an extensive federal project to bring back the coral reefs. Today they are thriving!
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and essential ecosystems on Earth. Besides supporting more species per unit area than any other marine environment, they also form a barrier that protects coastal land and communities.
Swimming and snorkeling among the beautiful coral reefs have embedded the images of the underwater world in my visual vocabulary. Those images re-emerge in her painting process. Experimentation with oil paint, sea water, alcohol and other painting mediums in the 95-degree sun create a watery environment in which the paintings form. Heat from the sun acts as a catalyst in coalescing the materials into new images. Physical intervention – like pouring layers of paint onto the canvas, sanding, drawing, adding to and subtracting from the painting surface – is key to the creation of the Corallium Series. Transparent film, canvas and wood panels serve as the foundation of these works. And built on them, materials and interactions mirror nature’s own inventive process. All of life has been formed – and transformed – by the water, elements and powerful forces of the sea. This perpetual churning materials both creates the infinite variety of life on earth – and sustains it.