The Venus Trap

JUNE 5 is a day of astronomical proportions. That's when planet Venus will transit the sun. Marking this once-in-a-lifetime event and World Environment Day, award-winning Australian artist Lynette Wallworth has created a 3-D film, Coral: Rekindling Venus to "remind the global community the problems it faces and what will it take to rise above differences and cooperate for the benefit of all humanity". The film premieres around the world today.

Coral: Rekindling Venus will transport the viewers into a mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life. The artist reveals a complex community living in the oceans threatened by climate change. "My intent is to leave the audience with a sense of wonder for the complexity of the corals and a longing to see them survive," says Wallworth, whose film will be screened in New Delhi from June 6 to 18. Free workshops around the theme will be held for children between 5-14 years of age.

The attention to corals during this transit of Venus has fascinated Wallworth, for corals' reproductive survival is entirely based on the alignment of the sun, earth and moon, making the Great Barrier Reef, the only living thing visible from space, respond to the alignment of the solar system. "To see the corals at extreme close up, including seeing the climactic spawning event, seems a perfect fit," says Wallworth.

About 75 percent of the footage has been shot by Emmy award-winning underwater cinematographer David Hannan. For the music, she got geoacoustic underwater sounds from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US). UK based Max Richter's mesmeric music provides moments of transcendence.

The first time Wallworth experienced the mass coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef was 12 years ago. Subsequently, when she made work on women who experienced great tragedy and built extraordinary lives, she used the metaphor "coral resilience" to describe them. "Corals need the predator as much as they need the plankton, and live in close proximity with a raft of species," says she.

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