Erub Arts Woven Wreath by Emma Gela
Dimensions: 50cm (dia) 10cmH
Koskela collaborates with Torres Strait Islander artists to repurpose fishing nets for Christmas wreaths. Each wreath has been individually handcrafted by artists from Erub Erwer Meta, a remote arts centre on Darnley Island in the Torres Strait.
The Great Barrier Reef was the inspiration for these whimsical pieces featuring colourful woven coral and glossy pieces of shell.
Koskela was keen to collaborate with the Erub artists who use ghost nets in their work. A major marine pollutant, ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost at sea or discarded by the fishers when they have become damaged. These nets float aimlessly with the ocean currents drowning any wildlife in their path and eventually washing ashore. Turtles are especially vulnerable with researchers estimating that 4000-10,000 have been killed in the past decade.
Artists from Erub Erwer Meta deconstruct these plastic nets to produce brightly coloured fibres that are woven into incredible artworks, such as extravagantly detailed reef panels and sea creature sculptures, which have a powerful embodied message.
To introduce the ghost net issue to a new audience, Koskela commissioned the artists to apply their unique craft to Christmas wreaths, which will be exhibited at their showroom in Sydney. As a lighthearted canvas, each artist had a lot of fun weaving their own intricate oceanic world around a traditional circle shape.
While conveying an important message, these Christmas wreaths are intended to be a uniquely beautiful decoration that will bring a smile for many years to come.