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The Jellyfish Wars

Overfishing, combined with oceanic warming, is creating perfect living and breeding conditions for jellyfish across the planet. Various species are now found in places they never used to be, often in plague proportions. For example, box jellyfish are now found as far south as Coffs Harbor and Japan has a giant pink jellyfish problem that is destroying their fishing industry. Made from Japanese World War 2 helmets, and fishingline, The Jellyfish Wars (showing in NCCA’s Screenroom) conveys the narrative of this surreptitious invasion. The helmets are covered in ghost nets, which are another intercontinental marine menace, and a big problem in Northern Australia. The installation is accompanied by Ghost Story: The Art of Aly de Groot – an evocative and haunting documentary directed by Timothy Parish and Shannon Swan as part of Art X North, a collaboration between ABC Arts Online and Screen Territory.

Aly De Groot’s creative agenda involves a thorough investigation into the use of marine detritus combined with basket making techniques, resulting in ethereal woven sculpture and installations that extend the conversation about the fragile marine eco-system and the importance of celebrating and protecting it. She is increasingly recognised as one of Australia’s leading contemporary fibre artists, winning the prestigious Toga Art Award in 2013. Her first major public sculpture was commissioned by the City of Darwin in 2014, and stands proudly seaside in the East Point Nature Reserve. As a recipient of a Charles Darwin University Post Graduate Research Scholarship, her PhD research (Underwater Basket Weaving) explores issues surrounding basketry and ecology.

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