Collaboration with the sea

Being so inspired by Tim Knowles and Spazuk’s assistance of nature controlling the outcome and being the medium, I wanted to incorporate the sea into this course – on a personal level, the sea is part of nature that I absorb immensely because I find the sound and the movement of it very therapeutic and cleansing, and also reminds me of being close to home in Cornwall where the sea is relevant to my way of living when I’m there. I wanted to fuse the elements I enjoy and collaborate with the sea itself, so I began by drawing what I could hear whilst sat next to the sea onto paper and canvas material. I used a non-waterproof ink pen so that I could then see what the water could do to it. I took the drawings one by one to the shore and held them waiting for waves to splash onto them and hit them, which smudged the drawings and altered the shapes I had drawn.

Shown below are a couple of the canvas outcomes which I am really pleased with. I love the subtlety of the original markings of the sounds that I made myself underneath the strong alteration of the sea on the first image and how the ink has been pushed my the shape of the water flicks. The third image is tamer and shows this combination with much smaller suggestive smudges from the sea.

In addition to the positive outcomes of this process, I found that the sound drawings done by myself were significant to the images I had been looking for: recent imagery includes the spiral (the Fibonacci spiral) and circular shapes, and I noticed that my mind was moving my pen in similar ways, particularly noticeable in the second and third photographs. This occurred without having a predisposed thought about how my markings were developing as I was drawing each one because I drew with my eyes closed so that the sound was the primary source of subconscious thought as that was the sensory element of the sea that I chose to work with, combined with the movement of the sea itself.

I achieved these artworks at a beach in Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, so I feel I need to go and reproduce this process in Cornwall to enhance the reasoning for adopting the sea into my work.

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