Requiem for a Reef performance by artist Ngaio Fitzpatrick

20 August 2020

Requiem for a Reef is a collaborative and immersive work of advocacy for the endangered Great Barrier Reef by artist and CCI Visiting Fellow Ngaio Fitzpatrick, composer Alexander Hunter and accompanying musicians Lynden Bassett, Chloe Hobbs, James Langer, Elsie Percival and Chayler Ueckert-Smith.

The work ‘Requiem for a Reef’ exploits the beauty and fragility of recycled industrial glass to capture a crystalline moment of tension and fracture.

Like glass, Earth’s ecosystems exist in a state of equilibrium and once pushed beyond a stable state, will change radically in structure from a state of entropy to a state of rupture.This tipping point will trigger a cascade of feedback causing accelerating cycles of more warming and loss of biodiversity.

The artwork includes; an installation of coral made from colourless recycled glass and is accompanied by a haunting musical composition which includes a mix of glass objects and conventional musical instruments.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recently advised that there is still time to save the Great Barrier Reef if we act collectively and act now.

This work focusses on the existential threat posed by climate change and the need for urgent action to preserve the beauty and biodiversity still remaining for future generations.

The panel includes: Dr Jennie Mallela (FHEA), a Marine expert from the ANU Research School of Biology College of Science at ANU and Professor Mark Howden, Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. The artists wish to acknowledge Canberra Glassworks, Science Week ACT and Inspiring Australia for their support in presenting and filming this work. The video of Requiem for a Reef was filmed at Canberra Glassworks as part of their program for Science Week 2020.