The complex structures, vivid colours and intricate patterns of marine life have inspired CrossXpollinatioN 2019 feature artist Erica Gray.
Erica’s life.e.quatic collection will be on show as part of COPACC’s annual fibre and textile showcase, which opens to the public on Friday 28 June.
In life.e.quatic, Queensland-based Erica meshes aquatic and terrestrial influences to form a symbolic representation of how coral and its surrounding ecosystems, once autonomous, must now cling to humans in the hopes of maintaining their continued existence.
Erica said her work predominantly carries a message about the disconnect between people and the environment we live in.
“Some people look at my art and think I’m sending an environmental message, but it’s a message about us and how we disassociate ourselves and our actions upon the environment.”
Erica further emphasises “I am not an environmental artist but I do observe, and worry about, our effect on it.”
Many pieces feature thorns, spikes or sharp teeth, representing Erica’s angst about her own – and humanity’s – effect on the environment.
Erica’s life.e.quatic is a collection of sea creatures created with plastic 3D-printer filament manually extruded from a 3D pen. She often works over wire armatures, hand sculpted clay and woven textiles to create the desired shapes and textures. Erica is also a painter and maker of sculptured wearables.
She uses colours and shapes found in the ocean environment and reiterates those within her own aesthetic to create new patterns.
“It might be a spot on a shell that I’ll reinterpret until it becomes something else – but if you look within the layers you can still associate the piece with the creature that inspired it.”