The Full Story
An artist, a diver, an ocean activist, Anna-K Cuffe is a mermaid in her truest form.
Who is the Artistic Mermaid?
Born and based in Kingston Jamaica, Anna-K Cuffe is a ceramic artist, a reef rescue diver and an ocean activist. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017 at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, receiving the Cecil Baugh Award for Excellence in Ceramics. Initially, her sculptures often took a formalistic approach to art; focusing exclusively on the form of the pieces rather than the content. However, she soon ventured away from solely creating art for art’s sake and aimed instead to contribute to the conversation about our dying coral reefs. In 2020 she was invited to return as a part time lecturer at her alma mater, making her, at the time, the youngest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts.
The ocean, the lungs of our planet, is dying. Our coral reefs, the rainforest of the ocean, are vanishing at an alarming rate and in grave danger of extinction. Large areas once covered with vast piles of delicate branching stag-horn corals are now piles of eroding rubble, absent are the multitude of fishes and invertebrates that once dwelled in the crevices of the reefs. However, we seem to continue about our daily routines, unaware of the wondrous treasure that is vanishing. Our lack of connection to the ocean world has led to a sense of apathy regarding its decline, but through art, I aim to create a connection that will enact a positive change. Working in clay I explore the intricacies of these diverse underwater ecosystems; molding and sculpting each coral type in a way that brings this underwater world to the surface. Celebrating their beauty while highlighting the threats they face.