Rhys Cooper, "Dance of the Dragons"
Dance of the Dragons by Rhys Cooper
Standard: Edition of 200 (numbered)
5-color screen print on French speckletone in natural 80lb cover
Variant: Edition of 50 (numbered)
5-color screen print on cougar 100lb cover in natural
12" x 36"
Printed by Seizure Palace
About the artist
In recent years he has also started to make a name for himself in the art print scene and considers himself a proud contributor to PangeaSeed's cause.
Haunting and beautiful was what I was going for, kind of the way I see the Sea Dragons as they float through the water.
At first I had the dragons just like "wings" but then moved some parts around to give a bit of a jewelry feel. For the girl herself I was going for a bit of a drowned Japanese ghost vibe. She is the dancer.
Getting it done on some aged looking paper so it will have a nice block print vibe.
Species of the month
Leafy sea dragon
Photograph by David Hall
Photograph by Laurent Ballesta
Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
Leafy sea dragons are some of the most ornately camouflaged creatures on the planet. Adorned with delicate, leaf-shaped appendages over their entire bodies, they are perfectly outfitted to blend in with the seaweed and kelp formations they live amongst.
Endemic to the waters off south and east Australia, leafy and weedy sea dragons are closely related to seahorses and pipefish. Leafies are generally brown to yellow in body color with spectacular olive-tinted appendages. Weedies have less flamboyant projections and are usually reddish in color with yellow spots.
As with sea horses, sea dragon males are responsible for childbearing. But instead of a pouch, like sea horses have, male sea dragons have a spongy brood patch on the underside of the tail where females deposit their bright-pink eggs during mating.
The eggs are fertilized during the transfer from the female to the male. The males incubate the eggs and carry them to term, releasing miniature sea dragons into the water after about four to six weeks.
Sea dragons have very long, thin snouts; slender trunks covered in bony rings; and thin tails which, unlike their seahorse cousins, cannot be used for gripping.
They have small, transparent dorsal and pectoral fins that propel and steer them awkwardly through the water, but they seem quite content to tumble and drift in the current like seaweed. Leafies grow to a length of about 14 inches (35cm), while the slightly larger weedies can grow up to 18 inches (46cm) long.
Sea dragons survive on tiny crustaceans such as mysids, or sea lice. It is not known if they are preyed upon by other animals. They are, however, frequently taken by divers seeking to keep them as pets. In fact, such takings shrank their numbers so critically by the early 1990s that the Australian government placed a complete protection on both species. Pollution and habitat loss have also hurt their numbers, and they are currently listed as near threatened.
You can help save leafy sea dragons
Donate to organizations working to raise awareness and research such as PangeaSeed, Project Seahorse, etc.
Advocate stronger global and regional action to protect leafy sea dragons and other threatened marine species.
Support the establishment and protection of marine protected areas (MPAs).
Recommend ecotourism and dive or snorkel with leafy sea dragons - but remember to look and DO NOT touch these animals. This offers sustainable monetary alternatives to destructive fishing methods.
Think twice before you buy. Do not support the trade of threatened ocean animal products and try to reduce your
Educate yourself, friends and family on the issues facing leafy sea dragons and other endangered ocean animals. Act NOW if you wish to save our seas.