by Anthony Heinz May
Sponsored by Buddy’s Seafood Market
Readers may recognize FIBONACCI CONCHOUSNESS artist Anthony Heinz May from his recent Roost and Puddle sculpture addition to the Watersound® Monarch Art Trail. His concrete conch shell design for the UMA reflects site-responsive specificity of location of UMA and existentialism between museum goers, natural/human-built environments and precarious human-nature relationships. The conch will lay on its side with flanges extending from a welded frame substrate of steel rod/wire mesh underneath layered concrete. This tested true prototype holds the highest structural integrity and best suitable for the natural underwater environment as well transport/install methodologies. Conch shells can be found along Florida Panhandle beaches while combing sands near the water’s edge, however in small sizes and typically commandeered by rogue hermit crabs. The increasing scarcity of conches housing sea snails and mollusks from years of harvesting Florida waters has made them illegal for anyone to remove. Several narratives of the conch include sacred Native American histories, musical instrumentation, used in cultural recipes, as well exemplified in mathematical formula established by Leonardo Fibonacci in the 13th century. Architecture uses ratios in designs elucidated by the conch as a form of pure aesthetic. In reclamation by algal plant life and for organisms to anchor, the intentions of his proposal continue expansion of his public art portfolio which include concepts involving nature, humans and technology. Reinvestment of the organic existence of large conch shells once omnipresent in these tropical waters pay homage to nature, natural cycles and patterns. Remnants of conch shells wash ashore along the Northwestern Panhandle of Florida as archeological fragments depicting severity of history in travel to where it lay in the sand. The perilous trip of conch shells, affected by storms, laws of entropy and human intervention in natural environments, is reversed in his sculpture which depicts the conch shell as a complete and unbroken whole.