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Coral Persistence Project

Coral Persistence Project

About the project

The Coral Persistence Project is a participatory art event that involves members of the public partaking in the temporary care and wearing of a ring from the Coral Persistence set of jewellery designed and created by artist Toni-Maree Savage. The original owner of the Coral Persistence set of jewellery will retain the other pieces in the collection but will pass on one of the rings to a temporary caretaker according to the caretaker conditions (listed below). The project aims to raise awareness about the individual and community roles everyone has as caretakers of our coral reefs. 

Unfortunately, our extraordinary coral reefs are under stress and declining rapidly due to climate change and the associated increase in ocean temperatures and acidity. One of the things individuals can do to help protect coral reefs is to draw attention to the dangers they are facing and to spread the word about sustainable practices that everyone can adopt to boost the health of coral systems (see the sustainable practices listed below). The Coral Persistence project is an ever-present reminder to the wearer and their connections that our beautiful coral reefs can survive with our support and simple behaviour changes.

Sustainable Practices to boost coral health

Everyone can help care for coral reefs by making simple behaviour changes:

  • Corals are already a gift. Please don't give them as gifts.
  • Choose sustainable seafood.
  • Conserve water, limit runoff and reduce wastewater.
  • Volunteer for your local beach or reef cleanups.
  • Practice safe boating by anchoring in areas away from coral.
  • If you dive, don't touch. 
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Choose sunscreens with chemicals that don't harm marine life.
  • Pick up your trash as well as the trash others have left behind.
  • Avoid putting chemicals into waterways.

You can learn more about protecting the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, and what you can do to support the health of coral reefs by visiting Ways Your Can Help the Great Barrier Reef.

How does it work?

The Coral Persistence ring is freely given to each new caretaker temporarily. Permanent ownership of the ring, like our coral reefs, is not possible. The ring must be passed on to a new caretaker if a viewer actively engages the wearer about the ring and agrees to the guidelines for the caretaker listed below. 

Guidelines for caretaker

As the caretaker of the Coral Persistence ring, you will need to:

  • Carefully care for the ring according to the care instructions.
  • Write your caretaker story and upload it to Coral Persistence Project Caretaker Stories
  • Pass on the ring to the next caretaker who agrees to the caretaker guidelines.

      Care instructions

      The Coral Persistence ring is made from copper. Copper will tarnish over time because the combination of air and moisture causes it to oxidise. This is a natural process and creates a variety of beautiful finishes. However, to help the Coral Persistence ring maintain a more polished look, you can help slow down the tarnishing process by regularly cleaning the ring, storing it carefully, and following a few simple tips.

      Tips to help you care for your handmade jewellery:

      • Don't wear the Coral Persistence ring when swimming, or when using household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.
      • Put the Coral Persistence ring on after you've applied any hand lotions, hair products, or perfumes.
      • When not wearing your Coral Persistence ring, store it in a zip-lock bag to slow down the rate of tarnish. 
      • Use a polishing cloth instead of paper towels when polishing the Coral Persistence ring.
      • When cleaning the Coral Persistence ring, we suggest a very gentle soap and water combination before patting the ring dry with a soft cloth. 
      • Copper jewellery can cause skin discolouration if you're sensitive to metals. In this case, we suggest passing on the ring to the next caretaker as soon as you can.

      Your caretaker story

      As part of the Coral Persistence project caretaking guidelines, we ask that all temporary caretakers provide details of their caretaking story. Please visit our Coral Persistence Project Caretaker Stories and respond to the listed questions about your caretaker experience.

      Caretaker conditions

      The Coral Persistence ring caretaker conditions are:

      • If a viewer actively engages you about the ring, you should explain the Coral Persistence project to them and let them know they can find further information about the project on this web page.
      • If a viewer expresses interest in being a temporary caretaker of the ring, you should ensure they agree to the abide by the caretaker guidelines before passing on the ring.
      • As a temporary caretaker of the ring, you should wear it in public at least once a fortnight (or more) to ensure the ring is in public and available as a discussion starter about the Coral Persistence project and the care of coral reefs. 
      • If no one actively engages you for many weeks, months, or even years, keep wearing the ring according to the caretaker conditions. You should also post about your experience on the Coral Persistence Project Caretaker Stories
      • Don't forget to pass on the caretaker card to the new temporary owner. If you lose the card or don't receive a card to pass onto the next temporary caretaker with the ring contact for a replacement card.