Zara Gardner was born and raised on the island of Barbados and currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She received her BA (Honours) in Fine Art from the University of Guelph and a Certificate in Ceramics from the Haliburton School of Art and Design, Fleming College. Zara’s work explores the intricate and fragile beauty of coral reef ecosystems and their inhabitants and addresses the influences and impacts of man on our marine environments, with a specific focus on plastic pollution and coral bleaching. Source material of scientific illustrations, marine photography and microscopic slide imagery serve as a visual stimulus when creating her work. Her attention to detail, pattern and texture expose the complexities and fragility of these ‘creatures’ which come to life with the long and intricate process of applying patterns using coloured slips in multiple layers and hand built additions such as spikes.