Private view: –
Foldyard Gallery, 47 Bridge Street, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1ES
Almost exactly three years ago I started open water swimming. This was something I had done as a child without thinking and the return to it marked a turning point for me as an artist. I was drawn to the water partly in search of a different perspective on the coast where I had spent a lot of time watching and drawing seabirds. It is difficult to describe, without resorting to hyperbole, the significant change that swimming in the sea and rivers all through the year has offered me. There is a loosening of body and mind, a trust in the process, a letting go for a sharper, clearer view of things. Now, when I draw rocks, water, birds – seabirds, seacliffs, sea -there is an empathy and a memory. The smell and taste of water, the different way in which the same patch of sea can feel depending on how recently the rain has fallen over it, the level of swell, the air temperature, the depth and movement of the tide, what lies beneath. Visually I have become entranced by the layers of deepening blues and greens when you dunk/thrust your head under and open your eyes, as well as the constantly tilting line of the shore. This body of work, Breaking the Surface, is about the liminal and the littoral, journeys made to the sea, birds watched at the coast, shifting tides and changing light. Usually I like to find a spot tucked away where I can look up and out at the world where I hope that by studiously working away on my drawings I will slip into a shared space with my fellow creatures and we can briefly live alongside one another without definition or hierarchy.