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Jon Wyatt

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Fault Line (2015)

On the wall is a bathymetric map – a map of the topography of a section of the Pacific Ocean floor 2,500 miles east of Australia. Intricate black wrinkles spread across the map denoting the contours and pressure ridges of the ocean landscape. At a depth of 11 miles those contours coalesce to form a thick, dark crease across the map. At this spot the Pacific tectonic plate dives below the Australian plate at an average of 10 inches per year – by far the fastest plate movement on the planet.

In 2009, in a massive fault rupture, the plates moved 22 feet relative to each other for a distance of 155 miles. The resulting wave was 55 feet high when it hit the nearest coastline - the island of Samoa, 100 miles to the north. It killed 189 people, destroyed 20 villages and left 3000 homeless.

The visitor to present-day Samoa is immediately struck by the swathes of vegetation that rise, several storeys high, from the roadsides. Comprising one single species - Merremia Peltata - this fast-growing climbing vine with broad, waxy leaves has smothered and killed more than 60% of Samoa's native forest. The contours of the carpet of vines recalls the contours of the ocean floor map - an inundation of vegetation, a palpable echo of the tsunami.


Launceston
Cornwall
United Kingdom
Europe


T: 44 07931703947
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M: 44 07931703947
W: http://www.jonwyatt.co.uk




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