Today coral reefs are in grave danger. But coral has been around for at least 200 million years, so why is it that coral populations are dying out today? Coral bleaching is the answer. Bleaching occurs when corals are exposed to high levels of stress, such as increased water temperatures or pollution from humans. The coral turns white and begins to die.
Scientists estimate that if we don’t take action soon, coral reefs will be entirely gone by 2050. Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures explore the effects of climate change on marine life and how this can affect us as well as future generations.
Two circular reliefs made out of intricate paper cuts spread out in “Ghost Coral,” layering the fragile lifeforms cut from stark, white paper. These muted pieces differ from their vibrant counterparts tucked away inside one of the mounds’ protective cores.
Brown’s final designs include a large-scale sculpture of pale creatures called “Coral Garden.” Brown has also created two more miniature sculptures based on the same meticulous technique: One features bright, healthy creatures enclosed in transparent bubbles and positioned within swaths of spindly, pale organisms; the other displays vivid.
This season, Brown debuted a new body of work at Galerie Bettina von Arnim in Paris that features exquisitely constructed arrangements. You may follow his progress on Instagram.