Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center
“The Realm of the Tide” was commissioned in 1994 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Tijuana Estuary Reserve just south of San Diego, California.
There are only about 7 estuaries in the United States. An estuary occurs where a river meets the ocean; it is a unique marsh-like environment with varying levels of salt and fresh water where the animals and plant-life have adapted in unique ways to thrive.
In creating artwork for the estuary, Austine and the designers faced the challenge of representing a precious natural resource that to the untrained eye appears to be barren and barely populated.
Polage is the perfect medium to meet this exhibit challenge. The image you see above is how the viewer first encounters the piece. A couple of birds dot a mostly monochrome background. Once the viewer looks through the polarizing filter, over 77 species of flora and fauna particular to this estuary come to life.
As the filter is rotated, the seasons change in the estuary. The viewer is able to identify various species of plant-life and birds as the guide talks about the importance of the area, and the migratory visitations of the fowl.
With this interactive medium, the viewer’s attention is captivated for long periods of time while they learn about the area, held by the interactivity and beauty of the Polage.