Exhibition - Coral: Art Science Life

13 February 2012 to 31 August 2012

Fringing the Australian coastline is 50,000 square kilometres of living reefs - just under one fifth of the world's total reef area.

These densely populated habitats of tropical waters house about 25% of all ocean species. Despite their vital role in a healthy ocean 10% of the world's reefs have already been ecologically destroyed. It is estimated that half of the world's reefs will collapse by 2020. The bounty and beauty of these living structures and the fragility of their future was the impetus for an exhibition held in the University of Sydney's Macleay Museum in 2012, called Coral: art science life.

The exhibition explores reefs from a number of different perspectives. In Coral: art four artists exhibit works that explore our relationship with this fragile waterscape. In Coral: science the work of four University scientists demonstrates the importance of research for understanding the reefs and their future. In Coral: life two schools in the Torres Strait share their vision of living on the reefs of the Coral Sea.

The exhibition features displays on the University's research on coral reefs and highlight the diverse work of four researchers' to better understand and preserve Australia's evolving marine systems: geosciences senior lecturer Dr Jody Webster, Director of the University's One Tree Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef Dr Maria Byrne, Macleay Museum ichthyologist Dr Tony Gill, and marine biologist Dr Adrienne Grant. The Macleay Museum contains coral specimens collected as early as William John Macleay's 1875 expedition to New Guinea - remarkably early given it was only a few decades earlier that Charles Darwin had demonstrated how coral reefs were living entities rather than static stone structures as had been previously thought.

"Coral: Art Science Life examines the boundaries of our concern for the coral reefs and spongy life forms sustaining life on the Queensland and NSW coasts," says Macleay Museum senior curator Dr Jude Philp says. "It allows us to appreciate the richness, history and vulnerability of these treasured natural assets."

The exhibition runs at the Macleay Museum until 31 August.

Opening times:
Monday to Friday 10.00am - 4.30pm
The first Saturday of every month 12.00pm - 4.00pm
Closed on Public Holidays

Time: See above for opening times

Location: Macleay Museum, Gosper Lane, off Science Road, The University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Contact: Macleay Museum Reception

Phone: + 61 2 9036 5253

Email: 3d00092a353109451a3f26303f2c282b3134140c1d440e3e165b0e0d

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