Nick Willett

Steel pipe

7′ x 7′

“Gorgonia” is the continuation of a series of sculpture emphasizing the beauty of nature and the need to preserve natural clean water sources. I also hope to persuade people to reuse/recycle.  The series started with “Reckoning,” (Jubilee Park in Springfield MO), and was followed by “Clathrus” (Springfield’s Park Central Square). Like the previous two pieces in this series, Gorgonia comes from the organic side of my creative spectrum and will include metal I have collected from the streams, valleys, sinkholes, and forests of the Ozarks.  These materials were once unwelcome invaders of our natural spaces.  With them, I create representations of the flora and fauna that inhabit this sacred and beautiful Earth. “Gorgonia” is the representation of a sea fan (Gorgonia ventalina Linnaeus, AKA fan coral). They are found in the coral reefs of our oceans and are particularly vulnerable to pollution. The Great Florida Reef is home to our closest sea fans.

What does sea life have to do with the Ozarks? Well, sea life may not have much of an effect on the Ozarks, but the Ozarks certainly has an impact on the sea. For example, the rain water runoff from Springfield’s Park Central Square runs down the streets and gutters carrying motor oil, antifreeze, herbicides, pesticides, and other pollution along with it. The city drainage runs into Jordan Creek, which runs to Wilsons Creek, to the James River, to Table Rock Lake, to Lake Taneycomo, to Bull Shoals Lake, to the White River, to the Mississippi River, down to the Mississippi Delta, out into the Gulf of Mexico where prevailing loop currents carry the water along the gulf coast, right into the Great Florida Reef. That’s right, right here in the middle of the country, we are causing death and disease of sea life thousands of miles away.

I would like to raise awareness of the fact that the Ozarks and the coral reef in Florida are connected, as are the rest of the world’s ecosystems. I want to bring this to light, because I do not think many people realize just how interconnected and fragile the earth’s ecosystems actually are.

Sponsor: David O’Reilly​​