Thursday, 28 July 2011

A couple of days ago I went to draw a whale at the usual beach I go to on the North Coast of Cornwall in the early morning. It rained a lot. 

I am noticing the beaches get much busier now as the summer season kicks in. Also the texture of the sand has changed with the weather. It is much crumblier and softer now than it was back in february and april. It gives way beneath my feet more than it did in the harsh winter months. 

I drew the North Western Pacific Gray whale this time. I was thinking about the conservation plans that were being made for this species two weeks ago in Jersey at the annual whale meetings. There is estimated to be just over one hundred and thirty of these whales remaining in the world off the north coast of Japan.

Gray Whale  10.32am Low tide 26/8/11
North Pacific Gray Whale 12.31pm Gwithian Sands 27th April 2011
My mission is to make visible our "invisibly ill" ocean.

To most, like me, the ocean is a vast reflective surface where earth meets sky, but I have learnt that it is a place where nearly all life exists. I am fascinated by that other dimension- the deep blue, which our earthbound evolution distils us from. All the time I am by the ocean, I am imagining the life that happens in its body, out of sight from where I stand. I have been making scale sand drawings of the worlds largest endangered whales, on beaches around Cornwall to help visualize their epic size and fragility.

And as my awareness of their silent battle with oceanic pollution grows, it fuels my art practice and the need to make work in a public space, from the water's edge, reminding us of their presence and hinting at the threat we have caused to their survival.
I moved to Cornwall from London in August 2010 to begin a Masters in Art & Environment at Falmouth University College. Finding myself in a completely different environment, surrounded by ocean, I couldn't help but be affected by it. My work was very land based, considering the journey of a tree throughout it's lifetime and beyond. But now I am working on the edge of land, in the littoral zone, engulfed by the mystery of the sea.

202 Rings of cardboard June 2010

After a tutorial yesterday, I realised that there are still strong links with my practice now and past work. I persistently added rings to an 8ft sculpture in a simular way to drawing a whale in the sand on a beach repeatedly over the year and letting them wash away. My works are ephemeral, acknowledging fragile ecologies in our natural environment.