Brooklyn Artist Addresses the Disappearance of Coral Reefs
NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2012
NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Artist Paul Hunt of Brooklyn, NY has launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign which will run from November 27 through December 26. The purpose is to raise funds that will enable the completion of his multimedia installation art project. He hopes that his work will encourage people to gain an understanding of the importance of coral reefs, visit these impressive sea creatures for themselves, support programs that clean the ocean and influence young people to snorkel and scuba dive, creating a lifelong affection and protectiveness for this natural habitat.
Hunt aims to raise $176,000 to complete his endeavor. The project, called "Sea Creatures" is intended to give viewers a visual, auditory, and physical experience of visiting a coral reef in a dry environment. His project covers 22 locations in the Caribbean, Yucatan Peninsula, and Bermuda, where he has observed the deterioration of these important ecosystems.
"I feel there's an urgent need to share this beautiful landscape before it's gone," he says. "Since 1980, more than 30% of all the coral reefs in the world, including 50% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean, have vanished. Coral reefs take thousands of years to form, yet are rapidly disappearing."
Coral reefs protect towns, ports, and shorelines from rough seas and erosion. Over a BILLION people worldwide rely on coral reefs in one way or another, either for food, commerce, or tourism. They cover less than 1% of the earth's surface, yet provide habitat to over 25% of all marine life. The reefs are the foundation of life in the oceans and are being destroyed due to many factors, including ocean acidification, ocean warming and coral bleaching, carbon dioxide, water pollution, sedimentation, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, coral mining, careless tourism, and ozone depletion.
The installation will exhibit 22 coral reef paintings, each measuring 49.23 ft wide and 15 inches high, depicting the underwater landscape of the 22 locations. The combined work will total 1,083 feet. Underwater video footage, audio recordings of the sounds under the sea, and special effects lighting will be used to give the essence of being under the sea. The temperature in the installation will also change, to mimic the variant shifts in degrees one feels when underwater. Marine debris will be collected and removed from beaches, coral reefs, and the ocean floor. It will be piled in a tile ripple formation, similar to how sand is naturally shaped by ocean currents along the sea floor.
Hunt studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Hunter College of New York City. He received grants from Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Asarco Corporation, and TRIARC Corporation and has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and New York City. He is an avid scuba diver and his hobbies include long distance open water swimming and teaching others how to swim. He is training to participate in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim for 2014.