Under the Sea
A new exhibition inspired by all things aquatic opens at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery this week (until 10 June)
Under the Sea showcases a mix of work ranging from the (real) jaws of a Great White Shark to the colourful textile sculptures made as part of the UK Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. The idea is to get together both historic and contemporary, natural and man-made objects to explore how artists have been inspired by the sea and the creatures that live in it, as well as current ecological concerns about over-fishing and pollution. Dorothy Cross’s film Hildegaard – Octopus Hunter made in the South Pacific and Paul Evans’ vast drawing of a captive Orca, covering the gallery’s entire back wall are intended to sound alarm bells in environmentally-conscious viewers, highlighting the plight of these animals. Other pieces, such as Jenny Llewellyn’s elaborate glow-in-the-dark jewellery inspired by the florescent fish who live in the deepest, darkest depths of the sea, underline their delicacy and beauty. And a series of glass artist Katharine Coleman’s vases inspired by the engravings of 19th-century German naturalist Ernest Haeckel show how some artists have used fishy forms as a source of inspiration, taking marine animals and vegetation and using them to create a beautiful abstract, organic patterns.