Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari are both Perth-based artists who frequently collaborate. Together they have produced films and sculptural installations, they also regularly exhibit their individual practices alongside each other. Coates and Nazzari work across a variety of shared mediums including drawing, sculpture and installation. Their artistic interests overlap too; both artists are concerned with the body, ideas of gender, absurdity and morality. Most recently, their shared focus has been the subject of Ocean Gothic.

Ocean Gothic is not to be confused with an art historical movement or sub-genre of contemporary art. Rather, it describes a philosophical relationship we have with the ocean. This relationship is centred on concepts of scale, power and beauty, and encompasses emotions like awe and sometimes even terror. The fact that the ocean is so deep and such a powerful force of nature, and also remains largely under-explored compared to other environments like the desert or outer space, means we fill the depths of what we don’t know with figments of our imagination.

Coates and Nazzari combine the mysterious and bewitching qualities of the ocean with the human body as a means to explore human fragility, as well as our attitudes towards the landscapes we live amongst.

Getting Started

Bring the artist into the classroom

Making and responding

Create a collaborative reef, a hybrid marine creature or climate badge

detail: Anna Nazzari, Australia, born 1976,The Phantom Leg, 2015, Perth, scrimshaw on antique sperm whale tooth, 16.0 x 8.5 x 2.9 cm; © Anna Nazzari..

Learn more about Anna Nazzari

Works of art inspired by whaling and environmental change

Erin Coates, Australia, born 1977, Echinoderm Dentada, 2019, Perth, graphite on paper, 44.0 x 50.0 cm; © Erin Coates..

Learn more about Erin Coates

Works of art inspired by species of marine invertebrates

Education Resource

More ideas for the classroom with links to biology and the environment