A storm has been brewing among ecologically-aware crocheters across America, who have joined forces to create a hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.
Initiated at the Institute for Figuring, this collaborative work is designed to draw attention to the Australian Great Barrier Reef’s demise as a result of rising sea temperatures and pollution. So far, the exhibit spans 3000 square metres, including undulating corals, ruffled sponges, kelps and slugs, and is still growing. Scientists have warned that the current threat from global warming and pollutants could lead to the Reef’s destruction within 30 years - so urgent action is needed. Started in Los Angeles by sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim, the project has spread across America, involving crocheting groups, scientists, mathematicians and artists. It has been found that the hyperbolic coral forms represent a natural manifestation of non-Euclidian geometry, thought until recently to exist only as an abstract concept. In this way, the 'conceptual enchantment' of the project weaves together craft, science and the environment.