Collaborative sculpture travels to SECCA from NCMA

Above Image: North Carolina Satellite Reef. Part of the worldwide Crochet Coral Reef Project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim the Institute For Figuring.

On View August 11 – October 9, 2022 | Community Gallery

SECCA is proud to host the North Carolina Satellite Reef, part of the Crochet Coral Reef project by Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles–based organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. North Carolina fiber artists, crochet enthusiasts, craftivists, and crochet beginners contributed individual parts to the satellite reef, which travels to SECCA after appearing in the Fault Lines: Art and the Environment exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh during the spring of 2022.

Joining together the work of many hands to create the riot of color, texture, and pattern that is the North Carolina Satellite Reef reminds us of the power of individual acts completed in concert with others to take action and demonstrate care. Working together in groups or classrooms or alone on couches, Satellite Reef contributors built an awareness that calls attention to the complex biodiversity of the oceans and the positive repercussions possible through individual and collective acts.

In this spirit we wish to extend an enthusiastic thank you to the over 400 individuals across the state who crocheted over two thousand specimens of coral for the North Carolina Satellite Reef. NCMA received beautiful handmade objects from makers of all ages and diverse walks of life—school children, seniors, college students, couples. SECCA is thrilled that this crocheted reef will have an extended life through a summer exhibition in the Community Gallery. It will then move, in coordination with our DNCR partners, to the state aquariums on the coast.

About the Crochet Coral Reef

The Crochet Coral Reef is a material science fiction created by sisters Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring. Residing at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft, and community art practice, the project responds to the environmental crisis of global warming by highlighting not only the damage humans do to earth's ecology, but also our power for positive action. A stitched, figurative, and collaborative fantasy, this hyperbolic reef also calls attention to the tsunami of plastic trash pouring into the world's oceans threatening marine life everywhere.

The Wertheim's Crochet Coral Reef collection has been exhibited worldwide, including at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Andy Warhol Museum, Hayward Gallery, Science Gallery Dublin, Helsinki Biennial 2021, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The project also encompasses a community program in which more than 15,000 people around the world have participated in making 40+ locally-based Satellite Reefs – in New York, Chicago, Melbourne, Ireland, Latvia, UAE and elsewhere. The North Carolina Satellite Reef on display here is the latest addition to this ever-evolving wooly archipelago.

About the Artists

Margaret Wertheim is a science writer, artist, and author of books on the cultural history of physics. Christine Wertheim is an experimental poet, performer, artist and writer, and former faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts. Margaret and Christine conduct the Crochet Coral Reef project through their Los Angeles-based practice, the Institute For Figuring, which is dedicated to "the poetic dimensions of science and mathematics." The IFF is at once an art endeavor and a framework for innovative public science engagement.