Swoon grew up in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the ocean is a part of daily life. When the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill happened, she said she felt compelled to express her angst in the best way she knew how: creatively. Symbolically speaking, the spirit of the sea was suffering, and that was the inspiration behind Thalassa.
The goddess’ sternum is composed of a horseshoe crab plastron, her rib cage is framed with writhing pipefish, and her hair is tangled with seaweed. Scattered on the floor around Swoon were prints of fish skeletons and other amorphous oceanic shapes waiting to be pasted together into watery ribbons.
Though one’s first impression is of the life-affirming elegance of Curry’s unfinished sea goddess, she says that in the end, viewers will discern the deleterious effects of oil. But, she said, she’d like us to interpret the piece as a poetic personal reaction to the tragedy, not simply as an oil company protest.
She hopes Thalassa speaks “the language of connecting to nature.”