Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa
February - March 2017
The steel sculpture T I M E L A P S E D #1, 2017 began here whilst reading about mass bleaching on the Northern Barrier Reef and noticing minor bleaching while diving the local reefs around Mnemba Island. The time spent here also highlighted the seemingly endless relationship between the consumption of seafood by visiting tourists and the locals overfishing the already struggling reefs to make an income and to satisfy these needs.
The original construction material of choice in Stone Town in Zanzibar is coral. They practically built the city from coral "stones" taken from the surrounding reef. I noticed the wooden scaffolding used in building modern building and likened it to the steel props used in building the multitude of high rise around Brunswick. Coral reefs are the formwork or scaffolding that allows other forms to thrive by attaching themselves to or living amongst the vast sprawling reef system.
There was often a lack of large fish due to overfishing, so it was while working on Mnemba Island that I began to notice the large sea stars in more detail. Each one seemed to have its own personality especially when bracing itself agains the high speed ocean currents that frequent the area. There seemed to be an abundance of sea stars offsetting the lack of other species, even though they are prized and harvested for ornaments or even eaten in some cultures.