This project was inspired by the effects of global warming on marine life. While there are many negative impacts due to the climate change, Discoloured draws attention to the loss of beauty with regards to coral bleaching. A rise in temperature discolours the orange from the coral patterns and extinguishes other forms of life in the ocean, as represented by the tiny lights on the lower portion of the piece.
Medium: Organdy, Tulle, LEDs, Thermochromatic pigment, Digital Temperature Sensor, Acrylic Rhinestones, sequins and assorted beads
Some behind the scenes of creating Discoloured:
Testing of the thermochromatic pigment:
The pigment is mixed into clear nail polish which is then lacquered thinly onto each rhinestone. At around 30 degree celsius, the orange pigment starts to turn colourless. Another layer of UV protective nail polish is then coated over to protect the pigment from degrading.
In many cases, the room temperature is below 30 degree celsius. The concept for using the thermochromatic pigment to form the coral patterns is that due to human intervention, the sea temperatures have risen due to global warming. Warm waters causes the corals to expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive if water temperatures return to normal quickly, but in the case of global warming it is difficult to undo the damage or even put a halt to it.