New art exhibition celebrates the marine life of Port Noarlunga, South Australia
River to Reef is an exhibition of new marine-themed artworks by South Australian artists, documentary filmmakers and amateur naturalists, Dan and Emma Monceaux. Presented by Onkaparinga Arts, the ambitious show includes fifty-five new works and can be viewed online, or in-person at the Arts Centre, Port Noarlunga, South Australia.
The exhibition celebrates the biodiversity of one of South Australia’s longest-standing marine protected areas and premier diving and snorkelling sites. Port Noarlunga reef is a rocky barrier reef that was declared an Aquatic Reserve back in 1971 and today forms part of the larger Encounter Marine Park. The reef is accessed via a historic timber jetty. The reef follows the coastline in a north-south direction to the mouth of the Onkaparinga River, which winds its way back through wetland lagoons and saltmarsh to the Adelaide hills.
Video and photographic works by Dan Monceaux introduce the visitor to the area’s surprising range of inhabitants, from curious reef fishes to colourful marine plants and invertebrates. His photography and video were all produced while snorkelling (without dive equipment) and using off- the-shelf Panasonic Lumix cameras and video lights from Fantasea Line.
The photography and video are more than artworks, they also represent a slice of Monceaux’s efforts to document the richness of species living in the area as a self-directed citizen science project. So far, the project’s 37 observers have photographed and confirmed 362 coastal and marine species, with more organisms yet to be identified to species level.
Port Noarlunga’s environment and ecology also inspired creative works in other artforms showcased in River to Reef: illustration, collage and glass. The colours and patterns of various lifeforms inspired Emma Monceaux’s abstract digital illustrations and kiln-formed glass dishes. Her other designs in paper collage and glass reflect the ethereal qualities of water.
Works are available for sale online, can be shipped globally and proceeds will support Dan and Emma Monceaux’s ongoing efforts to raise the profile of temperate Australian marine life and build environmental literacy through art exhibitions, citizen science projects, documentary film and future publications.
River to Reef is showing at the Arts Centre, Port Noarlunga, South Australia and online until June 22, 2020. After the exhibition closes, works will remain on the artists’ website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
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