PHOTOS: The making of a 40-tonne coral polyp
WEIGHING 40 tonnes and using more than 1000 metres of linear steel, the gargantuan sculpture Anthozoa is an engineering masterpiece.
The single largest underwater sculpture in the world is at Shute Harbour, ready for the final stages of its completion.
Sculptor Jessa Lloyd said being able to bring one of the world's tiniest creatures to life on such an enormous scale had given her an understanding that it was in fact mother nature, who was the true artist.
"Digitally slicing the form to reveal the lines and facets of nature and then scaling these up and creating the physical form has been my favourite part,” Miss Lloyd said.
The metal skeleton of Anthozoa has all been bent into shape by hand and over the next few days the sculpture will be layered with marine grade concrete.
Contemporary artist and Ngaro and Juru First Nations person Nicky Bidju-Pryor has been working on the 'mouth' of Anthozoa - the entrance into the cavity.
The final aspect will be integrating Nicky's stories into the heart of the piece, which Miss Lloyd said was a very special addition.
The origins of the word Anthozoa comes from the Greek ánthos meaning "flower” and zóa meaning "animals”.
It is the biological name given to a class of marine invertebrates including the likes of sea anemones, stony corals and soft corals - it literally means 'flowers animals'.
Coral Coast Oceaneering has been contracted with the delicate, but backbreaking task of piecing the sculpture together.
Communications manager Claire Gleeson said they had been liaising with Miss Lloyd, Reef Ecologic and the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority for most of the year.
The company has been generous in helping Miss Lloyd with the mammoth task of storing the sculpture at their yard, with the fundamental "locals helping locals” being the forefront of their goodwill.
Ms Gleeson said the piece would sit in the Coral Coast Oceaneering yard at Shute Harbour for 28 days, so the marine grade concrete had time to set and cure.
The company has been working closely with GBRMPA to ensure all processes are met and to make sure the installation won't pose any damage to the ecosystems at Blue Pearl Bay near Hayman Island.
"We're excited to be involved in building our tourism industry, and we're happy to help Jessa in any way we can,” Ms Gleeson said.
The underwater installation of the piece will take between one to two weeks to put in place and Ms Gleeson said a lot of it depended on the tides and weather.
Three to four commercial divers will dive into the depths for the unique marine construction.
The piece will be lifted onto the barge with a crane, before heading out to the location at Blue Pearl Bay, before it will be gently lowered into the water, with divers manoeuvring it to the seabed.