Alumnus Paul Hunt has unprecedented plans for illustrating the destruction of coral reefs.
Alumnus Paul Hunt has unprecedented plans for illustrating the destruction of coral reefs.
December 9

Deep Sea Destruction

Motivated by the increasing deterioration of coral reefs, Brooklyn artist and SAIC alumnus Paul Hunt (BFA 1995–96) is creating a large multimedia installation project, Sea Creatures. A press release posted by the Digital Journal on November 27 describes the artist’s goal to replicate the “visual, auditory, and physical experience of visiting a coral reef in a dry environment.” Twenty-two coral reef paintings depicting locations throughout the Caribbean, Yucatàn, and Bermuda will form an installation totaling 1,083 feet in length. Video footage of the reefs, audio recordings, and lighting will replicate the physical sensations of life underwater. Continuous temperature fluctuations inside the installation will “mimic the variant shifts in degrees one feels when underwater” and debris extracted from the shores and the ocean floor “will be piled in a tile ripple formation, similar to how sand is naturally shaped by ocean currents along the sea floor.” Hunt describes the rapid deterioration of coral reefs, explaining, "since 1980, more than 30% of all the coral reefs in the world, including 50 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean, have vanished. Coral reefs take thousands of years to form, yet are rapidly disappearing." He hopes Sea Creatures will encourage viewers to “visit these impressive sea creatures for themselves, support programs that clean the ocean and influence young people to snorkel and scuba dive, creating a lifelong affection and protectiveness for this natural habitat.” The Sacramento Bee also highlighted Hunt’s project in an article published on November 28.