In addition to the Core Collection of reefs constructed by Christine and Margaret Wertheim, the Crochet Coral Reef project encompasses a community program in which citizens of various cities and countries create their own local Satellite Reefs. As of 2021, 48 Satellite Reefs have been made worldwide, including in Chicago, New York, London, Melbourne, Santa Cruz (CA), Scottsdale (AZ), Asheville (NC), England, Ireland, Latvia, Germany, Finland, and the United Arab Emirates. More than 15,000 people so far have contributed to this ever-growing woolen archipelago. At the end of the page is a list of all Satellite Reefs, along with their host institutions.
Reefs in the time of COVID
The Crochet Coral Reef’s Satellite program offers a unique model for art-making in the time of COVID. In mid-2021, with the world still in various stages of lockdown, 5 new Satellite Reefs are in process. The Baden Baden Satellite Reef underway in Germany will be exhibited at Museum Frieder Burda in 2022, alongside the core reef collection. At Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, a citizens’ reef will also be accompanied by an exhibition of the IFF’s reefs, and at the Tang Teaching Museum, the ensuring reef will be a centerpiece of the exhibition Radical Fiber: Threads Connecting Art and Science. New reefs are also being made at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and in Mexico City, hosted by the radical art collective Red de Reproduccion y Distribucion. A recently completed Helsinki Satellite Reef is now on-show at the Helsinki Biennial (June-Sept, 2021).
Local Satellite Reefs
If your organization would like to start a Satellite Reef, please send us a formal inquiry. We welcome queries from different types of institutions. Some reefs are gigantic, others small and intimate. Some involve a few dozen participants, others engage thousands. The first Satellite Reef was made in 2007 in Chicago, hosted by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and the Chicago Humanities Festival. At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, 900+ people contributed from all 50 US states and a dozen other countries. At the Museum Kunst der Westküste on the island of Fohr off the coast of Germany, over 700 citizens across Germany and Denmark participated, with contributions also from Austria and Holland. Far-flung contributors send in their models by post. In Dublin, a reef was hosted by the Science Gallery at Trinity College, Ireland’s foremost academic institution; while in Melbourne, the project was enacted at the Burranja Cultural Center, which in part serves women subject to domestic violence. In the UAE, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute hosted a reef constructed around traditional Emirati fishing baskets; and at the Hayward Gallery in London, UK crafters fabricated their reef on a series of giant plaster “reef balls” designed to emulate the concrete structures scientists build to encourage growth at sites of living reef destruction.