Rising Blue Line at SWELL Sculpture Festival 2017

Part public art, part citizen science, part climate change.

This temporary installation in Winders park next to Gecko House was an artistic expression of sea level rise and how our grandchildren will experience rising tides by the end of this century. Held on the banks of the beautiful Currumbin Creek during the SWELL Sculpture Festival, 8th to 17th September 2017.

Exploring the relationship between the flexible cycles of nature and the rigidity of man’s built environment, the artist David Paynter has used dyed cotton towel rolls that have reached the end of their useful life to indicate the high tide line in the year 2100, swallowing the banks of Currumbin Creek, our cherished local environment.

A wonderful team of Gecko Volunteers wrapped over 500 trees, poles and posts to the height of projected sea level in the year 2100.

David became troubled to learn that large areas of our beautiful green open space will be lost to us all through sea level rise. He believes climate change is providing us with the opportunity to do things differently. When people feel connected to each other, connected to nature and to our future generations, we can embrace the changes needed by our communities. Every generation leaves a legacy for the ones that follow, what will be ours?

Inspired by nature and influenced by the works of Jeanne-Claude and Christo, the result is Rising Blue Line.

How will sea level rise affect our grandchildren?
Gecko Volunteer Sheila hard at work preparing fabric for the SWELL installation.
Image shows the NCCARF modelling predicting sea level rise of 77cm by the year 2100 in the Palm Beach and Currumbin region RCP 8.5 scenario.

The science behind the project.
The Rising Blue Line project uses the open source scientific data provided by the comprehensive Coast Adapt, Sea Level Rise and You modelling tool presented by NCCARF, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. This is available to all Australian Councils, Planners and interested parties. If you would like more information you will find the tool here, enter your region of interest and view the projected sea level rise under different emission level scenarios for the period 2050 and 2100. These links provide extensive information in an easy to use and understand format, and we encourage anyone with an interest to explore further.

Thank you to our Sponsor

Alsco Linen donated 2000m of blue continuous towel rolls that had come to the end of their useful life. This fabric was used by a wonderful team of Gecko Volunteers to wrap over 500 trees, poles and posts to the height of sea level in the year 2100.

Thank you to our Sponsor

NorthGroup Consulting kindly donated their time to survey the park, provide datums and project the height of the 77cm (770mm) of sea level rise expected to inundate the park by the end of the century.

Art has the potential to offer enlightening experiences that energise our relationship to the world around us. In the face of discourse about climate change, devastating statistics, ineffectual political debate and never ending news reports that overwhelm our sense of individual agency – art has the capacity to engender positive personal revelations that reignite an individuals sense of empowerment. – Joanna Bosse, Ian Potter Museum of Art.

For any enquiries please email davidpaynter@gecko.org.au