Courtney Mattinson‘s coral ceramics installation is a reflection on our changing seas.
When asking creatives about their source of inspiration, you will often receive the answer, that nature has an immense impact on so many. It is only comprehensible, as probably most of us will know this feeling. Nature’s reservoir of treasures is overwhelming and some of us might remember a moment of striking beauty: when you wanted to bring nature into your home, when you wanted to preserve a natural element that you found so beautiful, you wish it would have stayed with you forever!
These hand-sculpted ceramics by the Denver based artist Courtney Mattison go beyond the aesthetic aspect of natures’ beauty. Courtney Mattison calls herself an ocean advocate and her larger-than-life ceramic installations are inspired by the sublime but fragile beauty of our ocean’s ecological system. It is no secret, that this sensitive ecosystem is vulnerable and endangered. To Mattison, this remains the most striking way to spread the awareness of the human-caused threats that the coral reefs are facing.
Not only does the chemical structure of my work parallel that of a natural reef, but brittle ceramic anemone tentacles and coral branches break easily if improperly handled, similar to the delicate bodies of living reef organisms.- Courtney Mattinson
It’s captivating, looks utterly beautiful, but it is a call-up to pointing out on the fact that corals are so sensitive that the slightest change to the temperature or chemistry of the seawater that surrounds them can cause total devastation through coral bleaching, death and reef erosion.
Both, the stunning aesthetics, but also the idea of saving the beauty of this planet is a terrific point of view this form of art transports. Art has the ability to bring up serious topics by picking up our abstract thoughts and make it a beautiful reality.
Courtney Mattinson uses simple tools like chopsticks and paint brushes to sculpt and texture each piece by hand – often poking thousands of holes to mimic the repetitive growth of coral colonies. Her describes herself as an artist and ocean advocate working to inspire policy makers and the public to conserve our changing seas through fascinating installations.