The Passage blanket is an ode to the architecture of waves


The Passage blanket, front and back

The newest addition to the Seljak Brand Design range is the Passage blanket, inspired by the architecture of waves.

It’s a response to the awe experienced when gazing at the surf, watching the tube-like shapes form in the water, and the feeling of surfing or swimming amongst the waves themselves. As things are always in motion, including a changing climate, it’s also a realisation of the swiftness of action needed to answer to rising sea levels. 

View of First Bay, Coolum Beach, at sunset

Co-founder Karina’s artist statement says: 

“Passage is an ode to the architecture of a wave, an experience common to the coastline of Australia. When a wave arcs, for a moment in time, there is space created. In this instant, decisions must be made about what to do. As oceans warm and sea levels rise, they must be made quickly. To ride a wave is a journey, and through its arc a window of hope can be seen.”

The original artwork for Passage was called Wave Room

From surfing in the morning to drawing in the afternoon, arches and swirls dominated the sketchbook pages, culminating in actual ‘wave rooms’. Exploring the tension between permanence and transition, Passage is in equal parts joy about what we have and grief for what we’re going to miss.  

The ocean holds a special place in many-a-heart; swimming, fishing, surfing, snorkelling and sailing only touches on the sheer breadth of human interaction with the sea. And with around 80% of Australia’s population living on its coastline, it’s hard not to consider how water living might change as sea levels rise. 

Exploring the structure and fluidity of a wave

Joelle Gergis, one of the lead authors for the IPCC report, featured on an episode of 7am soon after the report was published last year, and offered a perspective that illustrated what sea level rise could mean for Australia. 

Gergis summarised that warming is at 1 degree celsius (over pre-industrial levels) and modelling says it’ll be at 1.5 degrees by 2030. The same modelling says that temperature increases will be somewhere between 2.1 and 3.5 degrees by the end of the century. Considering Geenland’s and the Atlantic ice sheets melt between 2 or 3 degrees, at high emissions scenarios, our shorelines are projected to retreat more than 100 metres by the end of the century. 

You can use Google Maps to get an idea of what losing 100m of shoreline might look like in some of your favourite spots, from water encroaching on property to public walkways, ocean pools or that magic little (and very ecologically important) walkway between the carpark and the beach.

Masig Island in the Torres Strait. Image from The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media —Getty Images

 

You can also check out Climate Central and Google Earth’s visualisations on rising levels in coastal cities around the world. It doesn’t include the effect of rising levels on island nations like Fiji, which issued climate-related relocation guidelines in 2018. And closer to home, the Torres Strait Islands are already facing the catastrophic effects of rising sea levels.

Swift climate action at the scale required to maintain shorelines means the transitioning from coal to renewable energy as soon as possible. Australia’s state and council targets are aligning to global targets of 1.5 degrees celsius, but our federal government is woefully misguided when it comes to climate anything – including preparedness for present and inevitable impacts.

With an election coming up, now is the time to use your voter power and demand climate action. Check out the Climate Council’s guidelines for writing an effective letter to your MP.