Coral Sea IV - Veits Height to Selfridge Rise, 2023
Blue Pencil and pastel on black Arches paper
68 x 35cm (framed)
Beyond the coastline and into the Coral Sea Marine Park, Lea's drawing examinations includes work that began with her residency onboard the Schmidt Ocean Institutes research vessel, the Falkor. Taking the code used by computer systems to translate information gathered by multi-beam sonar, Lea takes you on an undersea land journey that only this code can reveal.
The code and the process
Various pencil and pastel artworks on black Arches paper, sizes vary
These artworks, written in code, are Lea's visualisation of how the Research Vessel Falkor, run by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, explores the deep oceans' many secrets.
Lea's Sights Unseen drawing series gives life to the invisible by using the coded information that is generated by sonic mapping and collected at various depths from the onboard bathymetry and multibeam sonar.
The large banks of onboard computers translate this collection of pings into coded data and then into a recognisable image. They are creating a visual skin of what is passed over by the research vessel, exposing a landscape that sits beneath the waves.
These works provide a visual narrative of the one-month voyage of the RV Falkor after it left Brisbane, looking back from the Cato Trough in February 2021 as part of a global effort to map the planet's oceans by 2030. Lea was aboard the RV Falkor for this journey as part of their 'Artist at Sea' program. This journey was about mapping, revealing and discovering the ocean floor from the coastal fringe of our continental shelf down to 4000m below sea level.
The code used in its raw state created Veits Height Unseen. However, Lea further exploited the code by taking elements to translate her published article The March of Time: toxins thawing and tourism in the Pacific to create images of works such as Sights Unseen IV - Off the Continental Shelf and others.
In creating these artworks, blue pencil and, ultimately, black paper reflects these undiscovered and lightless landscapes.
These drawings are an examination of a journey through space, time and technology that uses coding to create a series of works that bring into the light a landscape that will forever remain invisible.
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