Jewellery Collection Soft Consequences by Meg Van Hale

Ocean acidification is a deadly symptom of climate change. The rapidly changing ocean environment is affecting many marine species. For shellfish, lowering pH levels affect the growth of their calcium carbonate shells, resulting in brittle shells sometimes unable to develop to full maturity.

Soft Consequences is an exploration of the ‘naked’ shellfish. Tactile and colourful objects that are made to be touched, evoke imagined shell-less shellfish. Without shells these imaginary creatures have developed tentacles, fins, and spikes to mobilize and protect their naked bodies. They are encrusted with pearls where sharp grains of sand might have embedded in their flesh.

Although comforting to imagine evolution thwarting our rapidly changing climate, the speed of the former is at odds with the latter. Sometimes it is hard to love something that seems so inert, such as those oft-forgotten amorphous animals that once inhabited that pretty shell we collected from the beach. But every shell is a dead creature. The affects of climate change will soon take even the evidence of death away, as if life were never there to begin with.

Soft Consequences reminds us to be tender towards all living creatures. To appreciate the beauty of nature’s many forms of life. A wearable reminder of our own vulnerability, as a living organism on planet earth, part of the same plight, but in a unique position to change things for the better.