Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

Several of our gallery's members (as well as members of our parent guild) contributed their time and talent towards a very unusual upcoming exhibition. The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will display the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef October 16 through April 24, 2011. The Reef is the perfect intersection of advanced mathematics, environmental science, biology, and fiber art. Learn more about the project here.

The mathematical concept of hyperbolic space is best shown in crochet. Who knew! The majority of the pieces donated to the reef are indeed crocheted, but other techniques were also accepted.

This is a classic example, by Debra Lee. The colors represent a "bleached" reef -- where the corals are dying due to increased seawater temperature. (The Smithsonian reef will have three parts: healthy, bleached, and toxic--lots of plastics incorporated.)

Marla Rudnick knits in silver wire. Here's a close-up of one of her creations:

Elida de Souza Moore made a variety of fascinating coral reef shapes.

Eileen Doughty stitched layers of netting and organza, to closely resemble a fragile Glass Sponge.

She also used a sewing machine stitching technique to make vase sponges, entirely out of thread.

The Smithsonian's reef is truly a community project, with hundreds of crafters within a few hundred miles of DC participating. Debra Lee organized seventeen people in her own neighborhood to make nearly 200 pieces! Here's a picture of them all, before being delivered to the Museum. Awesome!

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef will be a don't-miss event, starting October 16.

No comments: