There’s a new coral aquarium exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art that shows corals in a very dramatic and unusual way. The installation features corals arranged and affixed to a “reef” in the shape of a large ‘E3’ as part of Antoine Catala’s Distant Feel exhibit.
The uniquely designed aquarium was realized by Manhattan Aquariums using a plexiglass frame with shells and live rock attached to it using a special foam sealant. A previous version of this EE-reef used mostly Euphyllia such as hammer, torch and frogspawn corals but this second installation used a wider variety of corals also including Xenia, Sinularia soft corals, yellow polyps and many more.
We must confess that we don’t really care what the artist was going for, whether it was realized or not, but we definitely appreciate the fact that this tank showcases corals in a very unique way. The exhibit is not only art unto itself, but it also features corals hanging and growing at radical and dramatic angles that should really inspire others to create reef aquariums in ways that are more outside the box of a pile of corals growing on top of a pile of live rock.
Corals are such natural born creators of beautiful and artful reefscape, it’s a surprise that their various colors, shapes and textures are not used in artistic applications more often. If this exhibit is left alone long enough the corals will be allowed to take over as the primary artistic ‘reef builders’ of this exhibit and really, there’s no way to improve on the way these fascinating animals can create.