As science communicators, we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to translate the ramblings of the ivory tower into a relatable and accessible public dialogue. In my experience, our strongest ally in this endeavor lies in the artists, musicians, and storytellers within our communities. “The Writing on the Sea-Wall” series seeks to highlight the skilled, artisans and projects that help us in our ongoing mission to connect people to science through tangible and impacting messages.
I love kelp. I love art. It’s safe to say that ‘kelp art’ brings me to a whole new level of excitement that some could consider “overwhelming” in normal human interactions. I’m okay with it- people need to get on my level.
I first came across artist Bryan Helfand’s kelp art a few years back now and I have since been a huge fan. Normally, I reserve this bit for artists whose work communicates science in some interesting way- Bryan is the exception here- but I have found myself enthralled with the way he portrays the ocean and more specifically everyone’s favorite primary producer. Helfand is a local San Diego artist who specializes in mixed media paintings, wood carvings, and murals and whose muse stems from his passion for and experience with the sea. I often find myself perusing his Facebook page for his next beautiful masterpiece- the man is a wizard with a jigsaw.
I love how he captures the unique ebb and flow of Macrocystis – not true to form per se – but beautiful and vibrant none the less. Enjoy a few of his imaginings here and then go take a look at his website for some inspiration. The ocean needs more excellent artists like Bryan to speak for it and show the world how beautiful it truly is.