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In this body of work, the dying coral reef is used as a metaphor for the brain, specifically a brain that has progressive Alzheimer’s disease. The coral reef is an ecosystem that houses and nourishes hundreds of different species. However, because of human interaction, pollution, and natural causes the coral reef is dying due to an effect called Coral bleaching. Coral Bleaching happens when coral is stressed by conditions such as high temperature waters due to global warming. The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system; it is the most complex organ in the human body because it is responsible for “…our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs, and the function of many organs within our bodies”(Hines, 2018).


The coral reef is important because it provides for both humans and the species that live there; the coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for the local communities such as federally managed fisheries, which provides a significant source of food, and offers opportunities for recreation. More importantly, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have started using chemicals from live coral to develop new drugs that help fight infectious diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.


I want to raise awareness about the importance of the coral reef to our ecosystem, to medical advances, as well as what can be done to preserve and to maintain it. I have chosen to use multiple screen print techniques to demonstrate the complex layers of both the brain and the coral reef. Throughout this body of work, all fabric, including its scraps are used. Utilizing this method, I further emphasize the value of reuse and recycle to do my part in reducing ocean pollution.

East Carolina University – BFA