corals in landfolk culture
image source: cancun underwater museum
the mermaid is well enough to swim out and about, so she is looking forward to this event, entitled ”a totalising monster’? coral in art and culture’ which discusses landfolk representations of corals… more information can be found in this part of the webocean.
“the phenomenon of coral bleaching is, like polar bears stranded on melting ice sheets, frequently used in the media to raise public awareness of climate change. pricking our consciousness and conscience, scientists and conservationists tap into coral’s power to capture the imagination, which is recorded in culture since antiquity.
coral’s complex natural properties and appearance – the long-standing ambiguity of its classification as plant, stone or animal; its existence as a multicellular, hybrid, reef-building organism; its symbiotic relationship with algae and bacteria; the vibrancy of its colours; and the intricacy of its root and branch patterns – have led to its appropriation in different cultural contexts, as both symbol and concrete material.
this talk explores ways in which coral has been used, throughout different cultures and periods, as metaphor for metamorphosis, religious symbol, medicine, curiosity, traded commodity, decorative object, emblem of the unconscious mind, and icon of global warming, from antiquity to the present day.”
speaker: marion endt-jones (university of manchester). she is currently writing a book entitled ‘coral: a cultural history’ (for reaktion books) and curating an exhibition on coral in nature and culture at the manchester museum, which will open in november 2013.
date: monday 27 may 2013
‘art history in the pub’
40-42 chalk farm road
greater london nw1 8bg