Few natural creatures have the ethereal grace of sea jellies, which float with weightless ease and an otherworldly glow. Those gelatinous bells that beat and propel themselves through the water have long entranced scientists and dreamers with their airy texture and movement. San Diego artist Arline Fisch attempted to recreate the sea creatures' unusual material with an artistic medium... and one you wouldn't expect.
While most artistic replicas of jellyfish use a sheer or light substance to recreate their alien flesh, Fisch took the opposite route, using stainless steel, nickel and copper. Combining knitting and metalworking, Fisch crocheted convincing soft-shelled creatures out of hard, metallic materials. E. Michael Whittington, the director of the Monterey Museum of Art, told the SF Gate: "She used hard, tactile materials that have their own unique aesthetic components. They convey that ethereal sense, but in a radically different way. To me that's the genius of an artist - someone who can look at something in the natural world and translate that into a work of art and capture the same mesmerizing effect."
Fisch learned to sew and weave from her mother at a young age, and over the course of her life has applied the classical craft technique to unorthodox materials. She cites the jewelry of ancient cultures as a constant point of inspiration throughout her career. The sea jellies exhibition features Red Atollas, pink sea nettles, lantern medusas, moon jellies and a lion's mane, each composed with intricate detail and devotion to the original species. The show features over 100 jellies, suspended in space and illuminated as if underwater, allowing viewers to feel as if they are entering another world. A video projection of the Monterey aquarium's jellyfish will provide a moving backdrop to the installation.
'Arline Fisch: Sea Jellies' will show until July 22 at the Monterey Museum of Art in California.
Look at the pictures below and try not to smile:
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