Buffer Zone by Madeline Irvine

July 6 - July 27, 2018 

Reception: July 6, 2018; 6 - 9pm


            Below the surface of the ocean, giant kelp forests and mangrove roots are hidden worlds, transition areas between the surface and the deep. Along with coral reefs, kelp and mangrove are essential buffers between the enormity and power of the ocean and the essential fragility of the coast.


            The large salt crystal installations in Buffer Zones focus on the forests beneath the surface and the waves they help moderate. Both the giant kelp forests and mangrove roots are difficult to visit. Kelp forests are not hospitable to scuba divers; kelp inhabits frigid waters and is best seen in a submarine. Mangrove roots are a hive of activity and life, but attract sharks as well.


            In my art, I concentrate on the beauty of the natural world. Across the globe, nature is endangered on many levels.  There is a very real possibility that much of the natural world will disappear within our lifetimes. It is my hope that humans will prioritize our inadequate attempts to moderate rapid changes caused by global warming. The ocean is currently doing that for us; salt water covers 70% of the planet and has absorbed the excess heat naturally but at great cost to the environment, raising the temperatures of this watery world between 3 and 5 degrees. Already, large swaths of coral in the Great Barrier Reef have died. Without the oceans, temperatures on land would rise to122 degrees.  By creating beauty from these endangered Buffer Zones, I hope to contribute to the preservation of the world.

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