CREATE: Col Henry, with his sculpture 'Turtle Dream' which will be located at Langford Reef.
CREATE: Col Henry, with his sculpture 'Turtle Dream' which will be located at Langford Reef. contributed

Marine art to heal and restore the reef

UNDERWATER sculptures proposed for Langford Reef, Manta Ray Bay and Blue Pearl Bay are weeks away from completion.

The works are part of the Whitsunday Reef Recovery and Public Art Project, with the public marine art installations designed to combine tourism and reef rehabilitation.

In June 2017, Reef Ecologic launched a global call to artists and received 73 applications, with six sculptures commissioned.

Four of the proposed underwater art sculptures will complement reef restoration research at Manta Ray Bay and Blue Pearl Bay.

 

A map of the preferred installation locations of the public art sculptures in the Whitsunday region.
A map of the preferred installation locations of the public art sculptures in the Whitsunday region. Contributed

Arts Based Collective artists Caitlin Reilly, Jessa Lloyd and Kate Ford's piece Anthozoa is a totem-like replica of the coral polyp, symbolising resilience, regeneration and renewal.

Miss Lloyd said the commissioned piece would be made out of concrete, because of its high performance in an ocean environment.

"Concrete is PH neutral, it's an ideal surface for coral feeding," Miss Lloyd said.

Once the piece is cast, the Arts Based Collective team would engage children to use their finger prints to create dimpled patterns on the sculpture, Miss Lloyd said.

 

Anthozoa is a single coral polyp at a scale of 20,000 times its size.
Anthozoa is a single coral polyp at a scale of 20,000 times its size. Contributed

More than 400 hours of work has gone into artist Col Henry's piece Turtle Dream, and the piece is made out of stainless steel and has been proposed for installation at Langford Reef.

Adriaan Vanderlugt had two pieces commissioned, Manta Ray and Maori Wrasse.

Mr Vanderlugt has been sculpting since 1969 and both his pieces for the project will be created out of aluminium.

 

Adriaan Vanderlugt's 'Maori Wrasse' will be made out of aluminium with distinctive facial tattoos.
Adriaan Vanderlugt's 'Maori Wrasse' will be made out of aluminium with distinctive facial tattoos. Contributed

Cairns-based artist Brian Robinson's piece Migration of the Mantas, shows seven large manta rays that appear to be schooling.

The sculpture measures 4m x 6m and will be created out of concrete and stainless steel.

 

Brian Robinson's 'Migration of the Mantas' will be made out of concrete and stainless steel.
Brian Robinson's 'Migration of the Mantas' will be made out of concrete and stainless steel. Contributed

Mr Robinson also has another sculpture titled Bwya, which depicts a Dreamtime story about the reef, creation and marine life, and it has been proposed for Horseshoe bay in Bowen.

The proposed marine sculptures are one of several key projects under the $7 million joint state and federal government funding package, aimed at helping the tourism industry bounce back from Tropical Cyclone Debbie, and the reef restoration group, Reef Ecologic are calling for public thoughts on the project.

Public consultation is now open, click here to find out more.


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