The Deep Aquarium Installation

Submitted by Shayna Leib

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Client: The Deep Aquarium, Hull, England

Location: Hull, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $70,000

Project Team

Artist

Shayna Leib

SNL Design Works, LLC.

Client

Colin Brown

The Deep Aquarium

Overview

The installation for the Deep Aquarium in Hull England was installed in the aquarium's visitor introduction room on an 8 foot rotating dais where visitors are welcomed with a message about our earth's oceans narrated by Patrick Stewart. It consists of 29 individual 6″ x 6″ glass sculptures and 3, 6″ x 14″ glass sculptures resting on raised pedestals of varying heights. The lighting changes from dramatic low light, to lighting which reflects the feel of underwater light refraction.

Goals

It was important to creatively integrate this installation into a room with limits on wall space. This style of my framed work is typically wall-based, so we decided to utilize the rotating dais to display the work, letting visitors peer over the rails and down into the art, as if into a tide-pool. The installation was created with the intention of showcasing marine invertebrates, primarily corals, which the aquarium both breeds and displays. Each piece is reflective of a different type of coral, from scroll corals, to hard corals, anemones, bubble coral, and coral colonies.

Process

This piece was an effort between myself and the director of the aquarium, Colin Brown. As mentioned, we had to devise a creative way to add the installation to the visitor introduction room, of which we decided to place it on a rotating dais. To keep the budget costs down, I specified the dimensions of the wooden pedestals and worked with the Deep's own woodworker to complete the display. We also brought in a partition to protect people from the art, and the art from curious children.