Born in Brighton, England, in 1966 / Lives and works in South West, England
Tania Kovats’ barnacle-encrusted reefs developed from her 2009 residency in the Galapagos Islands. Fascinated by barnacles as creatures that dwell – both literally and figuratively – in the spaces between sea and land, rock and animal, and liquid and solid, the artist also discovered within their capacity to selfgenerate and form colonies a metaphor for the rapid social, urban, and ecological developments occurring on Galapagos. In the past fifteen years, the human population has more than doubled; thrice weekly flights have increased to six flights per day; and tensions are rising between the scientific community – who want to preserve the ecosystem – and the local community, who need more and more of the archipelago’s limited resources to sustain themselves. With their allusions to reproduction, colonialism, and urbanisation, Kovats’ reefs seem to embody the environmental and social challenges the Galapagos Islands now face as a result of population expansion.