Over & Under the Deep & Briny Blue is a wide open and wordy theme to work to, though one that allowed me to explore extensively – this exploration, for me, is a wonderful part of this annual project. I had a year of reading classic maritime texts, of viewing undersea footage with delight, of investigating fishing in all forms, and of trying hard but failing to include my personal connections to the sea. Ultimately I responded to little of my research directly – instead I relaxed and simply went with the flow.
Once handmade from natural materials by skilled artisans then repaired for as long as was feasible. Skills long gone, todays ghostly veils made from ‘unnatural’ materials float loose and broken, wrecked and wrecking.
Size – 50cm x 3m (wxh), Materials – rope, fabric (silk, linen, cotton), Technique – digital printing, hand stitch, knotting
Afloat upon, immersed within, watched from close or afar – the sea mesmerises, excites and soothes. Present yourself to its expanse with anger or disappointment and be healed. Place your feet in the sand and the sea’s any-weather balm will build you anew.
Size: 24 x 24.5cm. Materials: paper, watercolour paint, frame. Technique: painting.
Sardines are amongst the tiddlers of the ocean – ubiquitous. When massing in schools and swirling in the deep their iridescent colour gently glows.
Total size – 1m x 1.2m (wxh) variable
Materials – fabric (silk, linen, cotton), thread, buttons/beads, watercolour paint, coloured pencil. Technique – free machine stitching, painting, hand stitch.
The intricacies of antique etched prints of the sea, describing movement simply, hold great appeal. This language of old lines, and the patterns created by them, is one I do not yet chase to include in my art armoury instead I ‘use’ the old and authentic to show my appreciation of time and place and history.
Size: variable dimensions, approximately 19cm x 22cm (WxH). Materials: beach ball, fabric, batting, stuffing, ink, thread, plaster. Technique: sculpting the beach ball, digital printing on fabric, hand stitch.
When starting my research for this year’s theme my go-to was the classic literature I have read over the years. Old words, poetry and statements, so difficult to winnow. As the year progressed I moved to the the songs of the sea and the delights of sea shanties, resting easily with the gentle words of Emily Dickensen.
Three Large Plates
Size – #1(39 x 39cm), #2 & #3 (39.5 x 39.5cm), Materials – Ceramic, paint, thread, Process – Hand crafted plates, incised, coloured. Glue and stitch for #3.
A Poem by Emily Dickensen spread over six plates
Size – each plate, 26cm diameter, Materials – Clay, underglaze, glaze, Process – Hand built, underglaze writing
Nine Small Plates /musings from Moby Dick
Size – 20cm diameter
Materials – Clay, underglaze, glaze. Process – Hand built, underglaze writing
Five Dinner Plates
Size – 26 cm diameter, Materials – Clay, underglaze, glaze, Process – Hand built, underglaze writing