"It first catches your eye as a riot of color at the back of the hall, visible through a gap between a couple of other exhibits. You investigate, and it reveals itself as a wondrous mishmash of different shapes and forms, looking for all the world like some form of coral reef. You look closer and you realize it is a coral reef - not a real one, of course, but a representation of one. You look closer still and you are hit by the biggest surprise of all. The whole thing is made from crochet."
Twin sisters Margaret and Chrisine Wertheim, founders of The Institute of Figuring,
wanted to promote "the aesthetic and poetic dimensions of science and mathematics" through coral reefs. (See the article on hyperbolic forms, which is over my head). After displaying their crocheted coral at several exhibitions around the country, you can currently see this project in the Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in D.C.
Each piece of coral was made by 800 contributors. Nancy Knowlton of the Smithsonian says "What I love about it is it’s been on Fox News, it was also in Street Sense, which is the magazine by and for the homeless of Washington, DC. They had a cover story on it that was called, 'Homeless Women Stitch Their Way Into the Smithsonian.' And you can just stand back and watch the way people interact with it. People are completely captivated by the fact that you can create something like this out of crochet."
Read the rest of the article here.