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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2011
Salisbury Arts Centre houses crochet coral reef display

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
The coral reef is made up of over 1,000 pieces of crocheted coral and is growing

A crocheted coral reef, that's been touring the country, has arrived in Salisbury.

The UK Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is a large-scale art installation made up of thousands of brightly coloured pieces of crocheted coral.

On tour since 2008, the reef is now on display at the Salisbury Arts Centre until the end of February.

"It's about 10 metres square with over 1,000 pieces of coral which are very densely packed together," said Karen MacDonald the exhibitions project leader.

"But during the course of the Salisbury exhibition we're hoping there's going to be more."

The first Crochet Coral Reef was created in America by two Australian sisters, to raise awareness of the threat of pollution and global warming on the world's coral reefs.

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
Among the "unusual forms" in the reef are a knitted fish and an octopus

Since then the project has become a "world phenomenon" with an ever-expanding group of "satellite reefs" cropping up around the world.

The UK reef was launched in 2008 at the Hayward Gallery and has expanded as contributors have added to it as it toured the country.

"It arrived in 10 big fabric bags with no instructions of how to put it together," said Karen.

"It took about two-and-a-half days to set up.

"But it's very colourful and the 'bleached reef' - which can happen to real coral when it is damaged - has been crocheted in creams, and silvers and pale greens and is just beautiful."

It is hoped the reef will 'grow' as more crocheted coral is added by local residents, during a series of drop-in family workshops.

"People can create whatever they like. There's a basic set of instructions but people can improvise on the themes," explained Karen.

"And there are some quite unusual forms already in the reef.

"There's a few little knitted fish and there's even an octopus."




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