French artist Aude Bourgine crafts coral sculptures with a textile twist. Immersed in whimsical embellishments, each creation in her Poumons des océans (“Lungs of the Oceans“) series reimagines marine invertebrates as multimedia masterpieces. While this sculpture collection captures the dreamy beauty of the ocean, it also highlights its increasing fragility—a reality at the heart of Bourgine’s practice.
On the surface, Poumons des océans appears to be a purely playful interpretation of a reef ecosystem. Colorfully rendered as embroidered, beaded, and sequin-covered sculptures in bell jars, each piece showcases the dazzling textures and diverse forms of coral. However, Bourgine notes that these encased works serve a bigger purpose and have a deeper meaning.
“If we do not rapidly change our relationship with our environment, oceans will be dead by 2050,” she says on her website. “Their disappearance will entail a disastrous imbalance on all ecological, climate and human levels.”
With this in mind, Bourgine has taken it upon herself to promote conservation through her craft. She is “driven by the hope of raising awareness on these issues and convincing us that we can still get our act together.”
You can dive into more of her ocean-focused oeuvre on her website.