Courtney Mattison’s ceramics are clearly inspired and motivated by the ocean — that immense, powerful and precious resource whose details are still largely hidden from us. Self-identifying as both an artist and “ocean advocate,” Mattison has created massive installations, “Our Changing Seas, I-III,” that cover a bio-diverse selection of coral reef forms. Displayed in a gallery, the pieces appear to grow out of the wall, as if miraculously alive in the dry, alien atmosphere. The ceramic medium allows for remarkable ranges in color, spanning the spectrum of actual living coral to the bone-dry, matte whiteness of its dead state. Both versions are present in Mattison’s pieces, reminding us that these entities are desperately in need of preservation. “Our Changing Seas III” is currently on view at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Photos by Arthur Evans.