Coal or Coral

A new project by The Light Collective


Click here to visit our Crowd Funding campaign to pledge your support for this vital project


The first chapter “Red” in the greater RGB project by The Light Collective presented a refreshing interpretation of one of the great natural wonders of the Australian interior Kati-Thanda-Lake Eyre. With the second chapter ‘Blue’ we initially set out to capture the immense beauty and grandeur of the largest living organism on earth and one of the great natural wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef. A global icon of pure(st) blue. 

However, the reef has suffered catastrophic loss in recent years from recurring bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures, and after deeper discussion, it seemed almost socially irresponsible not to address this. So we present to you – Black and Blue: Coral or Coal. An artistic and symbolic exploration of the modern relationship between the extraction and consumption of old world resources (fossil fuels) and the well-being of one of our world’s great natural ecosystems. 

And we ask the question. Can they co-exist? In this instance we have chosen the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent coal mining industry as symbols for this larger global conversation. The degradation of the reef presents us with one of the most tangible, topical and undeniable illustrations in the world today of the kind of impacts global warming holds for us. 

We are on the knifes edge as a civilisation of hope and despair, the destruction or conservation of the world as we know it is being determined right now, not years down the track. We hold the fate of this planet’s well being squarely in our hands. We are its custodians – the captain steering the ship of its fate. And the impending death of over half of the Great Barrier Reef is an unmistakable warning shot over the bow…

We don't profess to be experts on the complex issues involved in global warming and recognise the causal elements are both multileveled and are still being refined and debated, but either way we are passionate about the conservation of wild places and are happy to use our artistic abilities to bring awareness, thought and inspire action towards more sustainable management of our energy needs and the protection of our unique natural ecosystems.Our intention is not to point fingers but to create meaningful conversation. 

Coral or Coal. How do we meet our growing energy needs and still act responsibly towards the environment? Who is ultimately going to take responsibility? As the parting shot in the book suggests, that question and more remain to be answered… 

Read what this project means to each artist below.

Artists Statements


The scope of this new project will see the publication of a new limited edition book and an exhibition to launch it whilst showcasing fine art and conceptual imagery that together aim to help generate greater conversation and action in the coal vs coral debate. 

The Story

The Book

Publishing books in a highly competitive market is very challenging. We need your help to get this project off the ground and spread the word far and wide!

When you buy a copy of Black and Blue:

•    You become an important member of the team seeking to launch this important high conservation value project
•    Some of your proceeds will be donated to significant NGO's that are funding research and conservation strategies for the Great Barrier Reef
•    Your name is printed inside the book as an official Black and Blue supporter
•    You'll have the book signed by all of the artists

If the project reaches publication, one of the biggest benefits is helping to spread the word far and wide, just by placing the book on your coffee table or on your office desk, will start conversations and create a higher level of environmental awareness!


New Limited Edition Book

BLACKANDBLUE is the second in a series of publications by The Light Collective showcasing fine art and conceptual imagery in this high quality limited run book illustrating the modern relationship between Coal and Coral.

Unite in this cause to help save the reef!

Shipping Date: Dec 2018

The Australian Marine Conservation Society

10% of the total Crowdfunding Campaign Sales will be donated directly to the Australian Marine Conservation Society for the conservation and protection of The Great Barrier Reef.

We opted for 10% of the total Crowdfunding sales, rather than a % of profits, due to the fact that the massive expenses incurred already during the photography stage of this project, it is highly likely this project will run at a substantial loss and never make a profit.

By donating 10% of Sales we can guarantee this money goes directly to the cause. Immediately helping to conserve the Great Barrier Reef.


How can I get involved?

In a first for The Light Collective, we will be seeking your support for this vital project via our Crowd Funding campaign that is now accessible here. In exchange for your financial support, there are an array of rewards including getting your name printed in the book and signed limited edition books containing a bonus print .

Don't miss out, our campaign ends on October 30, 2018.

The Exhibition

To officially launch the new book, an exhibition will be held and feature large scale striking illustrative aerial imagery of The Great Barrier Reef and from the surrounding coal mining regions. Exhibited together in a stark contrasting display that provides the viewer with food for thought.

Coal or Coral

Offical Opening Thursday 6 December 5-7:30pm
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tuesday 4 - Saturday 15 December 2018
Gallery hours Tuesday to Friday 11am-5pm & Saturday 12pm-4pm