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Coral Alchemy (Acropora Grove)

Manar Abu Dhabi

15 November 2023 - 30 January 2024

Commissioned by Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

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Shezad Dawood, Coral Alchemy (Acropora Grove), Manar Abu Dhabi 2023. Courtesy of the artist and DCT Abu Dhabi. Photo by Lance Gerber.

Coral Alchemy (Acropora Grove) is inspired by the species, Acropora Downingi, that is endemic to the Abu Dhabi Region and facing stress impacts as identified through conversations with marine scientist, Noura Al Mansouri at the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi.

As part of the process Dawood developed an innovative AI pathway that would replicate growth patterns of Acropora in their natural environment. The final sculptural form is therefore an interface between the artist's hand and machine learning, in turn referring to the continuum of geometry between the natural world and technology.

Additionally, the work is treated with a bespoke thermochromic paint finish, which changes colour based on ambient temperatures, mimicking human impacts on reef ecosystems through the warming of the oceans.