Residency Program Title
artists-in-labs KAUST-Swiss Residency Exchange
Institute Lab Title
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology KAUST, Red Sea Research Center, Reef Genomics Group
Red Sea Ecosystem
Marie Grismar is an artist from Lausanne, Switzerland. In her artistic practice she focuses on water and the underwater world: the complexity and poetry of water is a major inspiration for her work. Marie has been diving since the age of nine and is a devoted observer of the marine life since then. Thanks to her diving skills she has come to understand water as a new space of creation.
From the artist's website: "This project has been developed during a three months residency in KAUST, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, organized by the artists-in-labs program. My residency at KAUST has given me an invaluable opportunity to learn in detail about the habitat of corals, and therefore the necessary requirements for durable artificial coral structures. I worked closely with both the marine scientists and the lab staff, learning from their research, exchanging ideas and theories, and joining them on field trips.
What inspired me to design these sculptures is the different patterns and geometrical forms which can be observed in corals, sponges and other organisms that constitute reef environments. I analysed the shapes –from their molecular bases to their resulting final structures– and then I interpreted them into sculptures. The chosen material to build them is clay. When burnt, clay offers a great adherent surface upon which corals can prosper. Furthermore, the shapes I conceived provide natural protective spaces in which a variety of organisms can find secure and comfortable dwellings. By organizing and combining the sculptures together in space, I created a new form of an artificial reef."