Help create the Sunshine Coast Satellite Reef
  • Friday 23 May 2014

Sunshine Coast Council’s Caloundra Regional Gallery is set to take part in an ambitious world-wide creative community project, to pay homage to one of the world’s natural wonders, Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef.

The launch of ‘Spawning of the Sunshine Coast Satellite Reef’, part of the worldwide Crochet Coral Reef Project and created by the Institute for Figuring, will take place at the World Environment Day Festival on Sunday, June 8 from 10am to 4pm at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council is seeking community organisations, schools, individuals and groups to participate and contribute to this exciting global-awareness project.

“I encourage everyone to come along to the launch and learn about the technique of making the crochet corals to raise awareness about the fragility of our planet’s ecology,” Cr McKay said.

“This large scale community program project will culminate in an exhibition at Caloundra Regional Gallery from May 20 to June 28, 2015.

“If you are interested in teaching or crocheting your own corals, please contact the Gallery to register for participation.”

The Sunshine Coast Satellite Reef project combines art, mathematics, marine science and has become a platform to raise awareness about the condition of coral reefs around the world by crocheting mathematically accurate likenesses of corals.

The launch is a free event and no bookings are required. Visit council’s gallery website for more details and to express your interest in being involved in the project.

To find out more information about the background of the project at Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef visit www.crochetcoralreef.org.

Background on the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

The Hyperbolic plane is a form of geometry that creates natural forms like corals, curly lettuce and creatures like sea slugs. Even though scientists have been aware of the hyperbolic geometry for 200 years, it wasn’t until 1997 before mathematician Dr Diana Taimina of Cornell University discovered how to make a physical model using the traditional artform of crochet.

As awareness grows about the fragile state of our planet’s ecology, coral reefs have emerged as key indicators of environmental stress – more than 50% of shallow water reefs have disappeared. If current trends continue, scientists predict that by mid-century coral organisms will no longer be able to grow their bony structures, leading to potential collapse of these vital ecosystems. For humans, the best way to model such forms is with crochet.

Just as living corals send out ‘spawn’ to start growing new reefs, so the Institute For Figuring (IFF) sends out seeds. Since 2005, through their Satellite Reef Program, the Institute’s team has held workshops around the world to teach the techniques of crochet reef-making to local communities, along with the relevant science.

Guided by the IFF, communities are empowered to construct their own reefs. Such Satellite Reefs have now been made in cities and states across the USA, including Chicago, New York, Arizona, Indiana and Florida, and in more than a dozen other countries, including Australia, England, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Latvia and South Africa.