Capto Collaborative

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Shell Resonance – Sculpture by the Sea

There’s a popular folk myth that says if you hold a shell to your ear – specifically, a conch shell – you can hear the sounds of the ocean. However, the ocean is not as once was… Help us use art as a catalyst for change.

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Capto Collaborative is an artist collective of 5 young artists from Sydney, Australia. Our goal is to use art and design as an instigator of social dialogue. In 2020 we’re hoping to inspire and empower people to tackle ocean pollution and reduce plastic waste with ‘Shell Resonance’. This will be presented at Sculpture by the Sea Cottlesloe in March of next year.

We have partnered up with Clean Up Australia (NPO) and now need your contribution to raise $12,000 to fund the build, carbon offsetting and transportation of our piece.

Sculpture by the Sea Cottlesloe takes place every March on the beautiful Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia. Held since 2005, over 70 sculptures line the beach each year. However, the sea of today is very different to that of a decade ago when the exhibition first started.

According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, between 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. It is the most common form of marine debris and, having entered the water, will never fully biodegrade. It is our hope that through Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe we are able to use our artwork as food for thought and influence more conscientious actions amongst the 240,000 visitors that attend annually.

There’s a popular folk myth that says if you hold a shell to your ear – specifically, a conch shell – you can hear the sounds of the ocean. No matter how far away you are, you can hear the roaring of the sea inside a shell. In ‘Shell Resonance’, this folk myth is brought to life with the illustrious presentation of brightly coloured conch shells lying in the palms of larger-than-life human arms.

However, the ocean is not as once was. Now filled with plastic, ‘Shell Resonance’ subverts the audience’s expectations and asks that they reflect on the state of the seas. To some, what appears as the presentation of a gift–the shells–is actually a last ditch effort to others. Sinking below the sands, the arms reach upwards one last time in an effort to make us really consider how we’re impacting the world around us.
With digital speakers embedded inside the conch shell, the audience hears the rustling of plastic instead of rushing waves. As the amount of plastic in the ocean increases daily, ‘Shell Resonance’ aims to start a conversation with viewers and encourages them to recognize what the ocean truly sounds like – plastic.

With your help, we can start an important environmental dialogue. Any additional funds beyond the cost of the artwork will be given to Clean Up Australia to help Australians clean up their communities.

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Capto Collective was created by 5 young artists with the goal of using art and design as a medium for more than the superficial; that is to say, they use art and design to question social paradigms, introduce new ideas and start conversations.

Anson Li and Lawrence Liang first started collaborating in 2017, founding ANL Design. Li is a second-generation Australia born Chinese artist and practicing architect. Liang is a second generation Australian born Chinese artist and Architecture/Civil Engineering graduate.

Li and Liang base many of their works around pressing social issues. Their first piece ‘Closer’ exhibited at Vivid Sydney 2018 revolved around how technology is becoming a barrier to genuine human interaction.

Natalia Gulbransen-Diaz and Yanyi Feng view their cultural backgrounds–Venezuelan-Australian and Chinese-Australian respectively–as integral aspects of their identity and storytelling. They are currently undertaking their Honours year of a Bachelor’s in Design Computing at the University of Sydney.

Gulbransen-Diaz and Feng collaborated with Li and Liang underneath design collaborative Capto Collaborative for the installation ‘Nostalgia Above’ at Vivid Sydney 2019. Following the resounding success of this work, they strengthened the collaboration with the presence of Kathy Lai, a sculptor and design curator currently completing a Bachelor of Product Design at the University of Technology Sydney.

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