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Using primarily aquamarine, pale blue, silver, and white, this assemblage underlines the fragility of our oceans and seas.

The inspiration here was a found object — a fragment of coldwater coral that had washed up on a nearby seashore. Its whiteness reminded me of the bleaching of tropical coral reefs caused by global warming and climate change.

We tend to think of coral living only in warm, tropical waters. But I found this fragment of coldwater coral while strolling on an island off the coast of Virginia. Fragments do wash ashore from time to time, but this chunk was white rather than the customary pale gray, which is what made me think of bleached coral reefs.

While ships might send an electronic SOS signal, in the past persons stranded on deserted islands would place a message in a bottle and set it afloat, hoping that the ocean waves would bring their message to someone who would rescue them.

This assemblage pays homage to that bygone method of communication but here the sender requesting help is not a stranded traveler but the sea itself where increased acidity and rising temperatures have weakened many forms of marine life. The aquamarine hue was selected as a reference to the tropical seawaters surrounding the many threatened island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans.

The bottles float on undulating waves of pale blue fabric decorated by strands of aquamarine and hemimorphite, Murano glass beads and freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls serve as both the messages and the bottle stoppers. The miniature port holes underscore the nautical theme. Other components include mirrors, miniature portals, acrylic paint, paper, and dollhouse miniatures.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Price: USD 2,500.

Frame color: Silver

Size (in inches): 6.75 x 13.75 x 4

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