Margaret and Christine Wertheim’s artwork highlights the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics, transforming abstract concepts into tactile material forms. For the Biennial 2021, the Wertheims will work with local Finnish communities to crochet a coral reef in Helsinki.
Emblematic of their work is their global-scale participatory project, the Crochet Coral Reef. This unique intersection of art, science and mathematics marries an exploration of non-Euclidean geometry with traditional handicraft while calling attention to the destruction of coral reefs by climate change. Here, the sisters work with communities around the world to crochet large-scale installations that simulate living reefs.
The project responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and to the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash by highlighting not only the damage humans are doing to Earth’s ecology, but also our power for positive action. The project has been done in New York, London, Riga, Abu Dhabi and many other places, engaging more than 10,000 participants so far. As part of Helsinki Biennial 2020, the Wertheims will work with local Finnish communities to crochet a reef in Helsinki.
The work is commissioned by HAM and it is part of Helsinki Biennial 2021.