As part of an ongoing mass-effort to raise awareness of the plight of the planet’s endangered coral reefs, the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, a cross between traditional craft and hyperbolic geometry (“the global warming equivalent of the AIDS Quilt,” as it has been called), arrives in New York this weekend, with fresh contributions from New York area crafts people. A launch party, featuring many of the New York area’s contributors-from students at NYU and Westchester high schools through contributors of all ages, races, and classes, from all the city’s boroughs-will be taking place at one of the Reef’s two New York sites, the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street (betw. West Street and North End Ave.), on Sunday, April 6, from 3 to 5 p.m. The Reef will continue to reside there through Aug. 31.
Reporters interested in attending the opening celebration should contact Karen Kitchen, Program Director, arts>World Financial Center, at 646.772.6834.
A partner exhibition of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef will be on display, 24 hours a day, in New York University’s Broadway Windows, located at Broadway and E. 10th Street, from April 6 through May 18. Coral reefs around the world are dying off at rate faster than the rain forests, a development many attribute to global warming. In response, Australian twins Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles put out the call for citizen craftspeople to help fashion this giant, exponentially expanding, crocheted coral reef, inspired by the Great Barrier Reef of the twins’ homeland.
Bursting forth in a colorful, crocheted panoply of loopy “kelps,” curlicue “corals,” and fringy “anemones,” the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, created and curated by the Wertheim twins, has grown from a small object on their coffee table to an exhibition that now exceeds 3,000 square feet.
“When fully grown, these curiously animate forms will find a home as part of a mammoth version of the Great Barrier Reef,” the New York Times wrote in reporting on a March reef-making workshop at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. “But at the moment they were emerging at a remarkable pace from the rapidly flicking crochet hooks wielded by members of the audience.”
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at the World Financial Center is being presented under the auspices of arts World Financial Center and is made up of The Toxic Reef, The Chicago Reef, The New York Reef, and the debut of the Rubbish Vortex, a huge conical invocation of oceanic trash crocheted entirely from plastic bags by Helle Jorgensen.
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is being presented in New York with support provided by the New York Institute for the Humanities, New York University’s Humanities Initiative, the Sustainability Task Force of NYU, NYU’s Steinhardt School, and the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Fund.
The New York Reef has been created under the auspices of the New York Crochet Guild and the Harlem Knitting Circle. The Chicago Reef is being lent by the Jane Addams Hull-House and the over 100 Chicagoans who contributed to its creation during last year’s Chicago Humanities Festival. The Crochet Reef Project has been funded in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
From New York, the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef will be traveling this summer to London’s Hayward Gallery.