With her exhibition Glass Reef, Hidden Worlds currently on display in the Nautilus Gallery of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, artist Emily Williams seeks to draw attention to the fragility of underwater ecosystems and the vulnerability of coral reefs. Williams’ intricate glass sculptures expose the complex yet delicate nature of corals and offer a unique perspective into their intricate structure.
Coral reefs support a diversity of ocean species. Though they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, as many as one quarter of the oceans’ species rely on them for survival. Unfortunately, pollution and changes to seawater chemistry are threatening coral reefs worldwide, and when corals are in trouble, the rest of the coral reef animals are, too.
The exhibition is accompanied by the specialized tools that Williams uses, including torch and glass tools, as well as her sketchbook, glass prototypes and a fan coral in progress.
Glass Reef, Hidden Worlds is on exhibit at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island through July 19.