Art and kelp forests and pyrosomes, oh my

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to dive in a kelp forest – one of those with really long fronds in Tasmania or Monterey Bay, USA, for instance. I imagine they are pretty strong and entangling, as I’ve seen photos of otters wrapped in them to sleep. Seems the otters do this deliberately to stop themselves drifting away while snoozing. You can see a YouTube video of diving in the Tasmanian kelp forests here.

I got some sort of feeling to match my imagination in an art installation by Philip Beesley in a big old warehouse at the 2012 Biennale in Sydney.

Through that massive dose of art all at once, I’ve discovered I’m not big on the stuff just hanging on walls, but I really like installations, particularly interactive ones. So it was with particular delight that I saw, or rather participated in, Beesley’s ‘Hydrozoic Series’ on Cockatoo Island – especially as it had a definite ‘living’ flavour.

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Murwillumbah’s marvellous wildlife mural

On Sunday we stumbled by chance on a fantastic mural in Murwillumbah. It’s called the “Treasures of the Tweed Mural Project”.

Artist David Adams is coordinating a group of unemployed volunteers to paint images of endangered flora and fauna of the Mount Warning/Wolumbin volcano region on the concrete flood wall along the Tweed River. They started in 2008 and expect to be finished in 2013. The painted section is about 700 metres long, and although I took heaps of photos I can put only a very small selection here. It really is worthwhile having a look if you’re around Mur’bah. [Update: David says (in his comment below) it will be 1400 metres all up, 2.2 metres high.]

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