“The horizon is not far away at the height of our sight. It is right here; close to us, we are floating on it. The sea is our borderline, between the question and a hint for the answer.” ~ Ale de la Puente, Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Pescadero Basin (2021).
In 2021, Schmidt Ocean Institute welcomed nine artists from the United States, Mexico, and Australia. Their work ranged from marine rope sculpture, interpretive film, and life-sized paintings. We now have 156 pieces in our collection, representing 42 artists; some of these pieces were showcased at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Alta Sea Blue Hour event in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Plans for dedicated Artist-at-Sea shows and artist participants on R/V Falkor (too) will resume in 2022.
Jessica Leitmanis (Australia) examined 3D underwater landscapes to inspire depth and texture that comes through naturally in her weaving. She looked at the issue of manmade, inorganic material in the ocean during the Pinging in the New Year: Mapping the Tasman and Coral Seas expedition. View her final sculpture, and watch her process here.
Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger (Australia) is a multi-disciplinary artist who examines macro and microscopic worlds to further investigate the dynamics of evolution and the Anthropocene. Lea sailed on the Seafloor to Seabirds in the Coral Sea expedition. Watch how she created mechanical drawings as R/V Falkor moved through the water and captured the seafloor in her daily multibeam drawings.
Ellie Hannon (Australia) uses a visual narrative that explores the themes of values and relationship with our natural environments. She sailed on the Australian Mesophotic Coral Examination expedition, collecting images of the biodiversity at seven different Ashmore Reef locations to create a series of collage-style paintings. Using the technology onboard R/V Falkor, she created a ceramic vessel mold using digital imaging of certain coral formations on these reefs. You can explore her work in this video.
Constance Sartor (Guam) is a biology student at the University of Guam and an artist who uses collage and up-cycling to showcase the diverse ocean organisms and inspire re-use of manmade materials. Constance sailed on the Discovering Deep-Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands 2 expedition, creating a series of collages featuring species collected with ROV SuBastian, including a glass octopus, deep sea coral, and crab. This video highlights her process in creating the collages.
Tanya Young (United States), a painter and science illustrator, joined R/V Falkor for the Biodiverse Borderlands: Mineral-rich Depths of Southern California expedition, where she observed deep sea species and completed three painted pieces, including a bathymetry map of an underwater ridge, a ctenophore, and deep sea jellyfish.
Shona Kitchen (United States) heads Rhode Island School of Design’s Digital + Media graduate program. Shona joined the Designing The Future 2 voyage, as a follow up to the first expedition with her collaborator Alyson Ogasian. For their project, they considered R/V Falkor a species, along with the animals Shona spotted during the expedition. Shona was interested in exploring the similarities between R/V Falkor, ROV SuBastian, and the organisms that inhabit the Twilight Zone. From these observations, Shona and Alyson designed a collection of small artifacts, their version of a miniature “cabinet of curiosities” entitled “Another Twilight Zone.”
Ale de la Puente (México), is an award-winning artist with a diverse background, including design, boatbuilding, navigation, astronomy, physics, and philosophy. She is known for her poetic and conceptual explorations of time and space across a wide field of mediums ranging from installations and sculptures to drawings, photography, and video. Ale sailed on R/V Falkor ’s last science expedition, the Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Pescadero Basin , obtaining multiple data such as dive videos, maps, etc. In the months to follow, she will work with images, videos, and memories to tell another story through video. You can learn more about Ale’s journey in this video.
Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse (United States) are a collaborative artist team whose art focuses on water and all things connected with water. They have had numerous international exhibits and were on R/V Falkor for its final transit from Mexico to Spain. Carol and Robert continue to work on a commemorative painting that they started on their journey, celebrating R/V Falkor and its crew. The gold image of the Luck Dragon-Falkor superimposed over a depiction of the ship- R/V Falkor will be hung on SOI’s new vessel R/V Falkor (too). The couple also executed a performative art project from their “ice cube and ice cube tray” series. Every day at 2 p.m. ship time, they tossed an ice cube into the ocean to raise awareness of the warming seas, and then made an ice cube painting where they listed the latitude, longitude, and water temperature of the day. You can watch their process in this video.