A new two-story art installation that celebrates ocean life in the Gulf of Maine and the scientific efforts to understand it will open at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on Nov. 9. “Majestic Fragility” was created by Gulf of Maine EcoArts artists, in collaboration with ocean scientists and students from across the state.
The exhibit is the culmination of a three-year project with Bigelow Laboratory scientists. Inspired by the natural world under the waves, the artists worked to create a scene of the normally unseen. The installation aims to capture the dynamic biodiversity of our oceans and inspire people to think about how they are connected to it.
Five Maine artists created pieces for the installation, a cross-section of sky and sea that illuminates the incredible diversity of life in the Gulf of Maine. It features a range of key endangered and threatened marine life from phytoplankton to birds, in sculpture, textile art, and prints.
At the center of the exhibit is a bone-white, 24-foot sculpture of a North Atlantic Right Whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet. Inspired by walks in the woods, artist Andy Rosen made the sculpture from parts of trees and other reclaimed terrestrial material.
It was designed and built by Gulf of Maine EcoArts, a collaborative of Maine artists who set out to create art inspired by, and to celebrate, the environment. In addition to Rosen, Lee Chisholm, Anna Dibble, Joe Hemes, and Pamela Moulton all contributed hanging artwork to the installation. It also involved a team of educators and students from more than 16 Maine schools – from middle school through college.
“Majestic Fragility” can be viewed at Bigelow Laboratory, located at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. All visitors are required to wear masks inside the laboratory.