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  • Writer's pictureLaziza Rakhimova

Governors Island : Oyster Reefs

Updated: May 15, 2022

As part of my 2022 LMCC residency at the Art Center on Governors Island in New York, I work with oysters and marine habitats. Using infrared light, I captured the island’s landscape.

In this work, I allude to the fragility of the natural world and its enduring resilience, and the urgency of restoration.

Artificial oyster reefs created by the Billion Oyster Project span along NYC waterfronts in hopes of re-wild and protecting the city from flood surges. Resilient Wall is a metaphor for waves attenuation, waterfront reinforcement, erosion reduction, and creating a home for marine diversity. It represents a beacon of hope that New York harbor will regain its natural protection.

The Indigenous population living in the current NYC area harvested oysters sustainably, sourcing them only from the shallow waters for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. I look at tiny oyster shells as sacred, powerful objects. They protect shorelines, purify water, and help re-wild New York.

Open studios on Governors Island April 30th (1-6pm).

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