Last year in February 2012, Artist Joey Ellis went to Indonesia to create a new type of underwater sculpture. From the beginning of his arrival he searched for the material that the culminating sculpture would be made out of. The ones in the past were made of rebar and had to be to welded together. However since “I’m a terrible welder and terrible perfectionist I needed to find something that was common, something that people had and might possibly donate, so I chose bikes” says Joey.

A totally cliche form for sculpture, but it’s cliche probably for a reason. Joey bought one to use as an example and then sought out locals, explaining the process while asking for old bicycles. Soon after he had gotten in total 5 bikes, three were from local kids, his and one other from a nearby home-stay.

There was one problem with the bikes in that there were parts that weren’t metal, so if hooked up they wouldn’t mineral accrete. Joey decided to wrap them in metal and have the limestone envelope it in the end.

Joey told the guys that here is a puzzle. How do we construct it without electricity? How do we make it with the least amount of bought metal? How can we make the process dictate the design? They came up with the idea of making it out of pipes and using a metal thread maker to make parts connectable and screw into each other. “We would probably have to do some welding but it wouldn’t have to be done on site” said Joey.

His goal was to try and take from a community whose older members had once destroyed the reefs, and then have them give something physical back in return to help regrow them. In the end what it became was beyond his expectations and what it will become will he says “be beyond his imagination”.

Project partners

Science partners – Bio-rock® –

Bio-rock® centre, local  managing partners  Karang Lastari

Hotel partner and host – Taman Sari Cottages

Dive business partner – Bali Dive academy

Artist – Joey Ellis –


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