of Coral

Joint Exhibit by Artists Timothy Johnston & Valerie Taylor AM //

In 2021, Taronga Zoo’s Dalang Ballroom held the Kingdom of Coral Joint Exhibition. Timothy Johnston had a sold out exhibition on the night, and Valerie Taylor AM exhibited her personal collection, Melody the Mermaid and her Adventures in the Kingdom of the Sea, displaying over 40 of her own intricate watercolour paintings.

‘I am delighted to attend this exhibition viewing Valerie Taylors personal collection of marine Illustrations, alongside local ocean abstract artworks by Timothy Johnston of the bays and waterways of Mosman and Sydney Harbour . I would also like to congratulate both of them for the UN-World Oceans Day CollaborOCEANS art initiative of Lighting Up the Sails of the Sydney Opera House with their personal artworks and other ‘Creatives’ who are with us tonight.’

Mayor of  Mosman Carolyn Corrigan  


It was with great delight that we presented Melody the Mermaid and Valerie’s artistic talent to the world. Valerie’s whimsical marine underwater illustrations depict an adventurous mermaid who is a marine life guardian. Valerie’s works of Melody were projected onto the ‘Sails’ of the Opera House as a part of CollaborOCEANS’ World Ocean Day celebrations.

A highlight of this celebration of Valerie Taylor was having seven times World Champion Surfer, Layne Beachley AO, MC the event. Layne directed a Q&A with Valerie that delighted more than 150 guests and Valerie herself. The evening included a variety comedy performance from Merrick Watts, and music performance from beloved Sydney band, Brown Sugar. Distinguished guests included Finland’s Head of Mission to Australia Ms Satu Mattila-Budish, Bruce Baird AM, Chief Scientist from The Australian Museum Professor Kris Helgen, Biennale committee advisor Barbara Moore, and Dunghutti marine biochemist Dr Mitch Gibbs.

On the night, CollaborOCEANS’ Timothy Johnston was proud to present ‘VALERIE’, an exciting new line of swimwear. Sea Glory Swim founder, Courtney Purcell, collaborated with Tim to design ethical, sustainable and educational swimwear that features Valerie Taylor’s watercolours from the Melody the Mermaid collection.

On the same day, Bold and the Beautiful Swim Squad Manly NSW had 20 swimmers from their club volunteer for the CollaborOCEANS’ Swim 4A Fish community ocean initiative. The group raised funds by swimming for a world first Leopold Shark Recovery Program with Conservation International.

In conjunction with the exhibition, CollaborOCEANS hosted the World Ocean Day Gala Dinner on June 8th in Taronga Zoo’s N’galawa ballroom, with the Kingdom of Coral joint exhibition simultaneously taking place in the downstairs Dalang space. The event hosts Epicure gave 70% of the overall costs of the dinner to the Taronga Zoo Conservation Society – reaching a total of $45,500 for protecting endangered turtle species.

Our Exhibition Sponsors

We would like to thank and highlight all of our local and national sponsors who partnered with us for an amazing successful event.