A few weeks before my Artist-at-Sea experience, the program coordinator emailed me to see if I would be interested in creating a painting for a panel on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s ROV submersible named SuBastian. Well, I am so happy to share that my Antler Coral painting is finally installed on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV SuBastian). The ROV is a state-of-the-art submersible deployed from the R/V Falkor; it travels to the bottom of the ocean to survey and collect information on the mysterious deep sea.
Coral Painting newly installed on the Schmidt Ocean Institutes’s ROV SuBastian. Image courtesy: Jason Rodriguez
I painted Antler Coral, Pocillopora grandis, since it’s used as a home to various fish and invertebrates all around the Hawai’i Island Chain — a true keystone species. It’s exciting to see the painting installed on ROV SuBastian. I‘ve been imagining a scene where the ROV is flying into the pitch black waters, and attracts an audience of Anglerfish that use their bioluminescence to illuminate the painting: this deep water species will then view a totally “new” (to them) shallow water coral species. It tickles me and I am so humbled by this opportunity to have art on displays for my newest audience yet.
Read more about my process on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s expedition log: https://schmidtocean.org/cruise-log-post/a-painting-for-the-seafloor-dwellers/ or check out the YouTube video below with ROV Pilot, Jason Rodriguez.