The Coral Project

By defining a new geological epoch as the Anthropocene, scientists are declaring that the impact of our activities is global and irreversible. The awareness of this state of play underpins my thoughts, process and choice of materials in this series.

Melithaeidae.wood, wax and carbon, 37cm diameter
Faviidae by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax and carbon 32cm diameter
Faviidae,  2016,  wood, wax and carbon,  32cm diameter
Eusmiliidae by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax 60cm diameter
Eusmiliidae,  2016,  wood, wax,  60cm diameter

Coral Seas is a contemplation on the bleaching of coral reefs: a major scientific sign of climate change. I conducted field research on Orpheus Island in September 2016 as a volunteer researcher to witness a coral spawning event. I studied the mutualistic relationship between the algae and the corals, where each organism derives benefit from the relationship. I also witnessed coral bleaching events which bear deadly witness to the upset balance within our carbon cycle due to ocean acidification and warming.

Ellisellidae by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax and carbon 60cm diameter
Ellisellidae,  2016,  wood, wax and carbon,  60cm diameter
Agariciidae by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax and carbon 60cm diameter
Agariciidae,  2016,  wood, wax and carbon,  60cm diameter

I selected the industrial materials carbon and oil to create the series. Both wax and timber hold the potential for burning; each transform through fire, signifying volatile elemental potential. The destructive process becomes an elemental ritual firing for me, a satirical emulation of western cultural addiction to fossil fuel combustion.

Dendrophylliidae by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax and carbon 37cm diameter
Dendrophylliidae,  2016,  wood, wax and carbon,  37cm diameter

The circular format alludes to microscopic as well as planetary-scaled worlds. Each work carries the marks of systems with entropic carbon overload; each suggests water level rise and glacial melting. Wax brings a carnality to the bare, burned timbers, settling into the carved crevices and covering the flat areas like skin. In its fleshiness, the wax promotes anthropogenic embodied connections to the bleaching reef.

Agariciidae no2 by Kassandra Bossell 2016 wood, wax and carbon 50cm diameter
Agariciidae no2,  2016,  wood, wax and carbon,  50cm diameter