Beneath The Surface – Lockdown inspired series…
This series of monotype images were intisgated and developed in the midst of the second Covid lockdown in my studio in Cornwall, November 2020.
During the first lockdown I was lucky enough to be able to walk the dog on my local beach in Cornwall. These daily walks became longer and longer as I began to explore the beach more thoroughly, looking at the rock formations, the shoreline, and the flotsam and jetsam that appeared anew each day. I started collecting seaweed and learnt how to identify it, press it, and preserve it. I began researching marine life that I found captured in the rockpools at low tide and became fascinated by the curious and often surprising lives they shared in these complex habitats brimming with biodiversity.
I also collected a lot of plastic waste, fishing detritus and general rubbish that the sea gave up each day. To begin with I brought it home and recycled it or threw it in the bin, after time I decided to keep each day’s haul and label it with the date and where I was walking. It didn’t take long before my studio was full of bags, all labelled, all slightly giving off a fishy, sea weedy odour, silently telling me to do something with them.
I decided to use the contents of these bags as a starting point for a new series of work that looked at the beauty of the natural environment and our complex relationship with it. Trying to capture the sense of a world underwater, beneath the surface, but also try and say something about the impact of our behaviours on that environment.
As I build each image using layers of colour, sand, salt, and stencils, I start to imagine a story emerging out of the print. Rummaging through my beach detritus I always find something that I can add into my images that can become a talking point, a gentle message or just a beautiful juxtaposition.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative freedom that Monotype can inspire and have grown in confidence as a result. I long to work bigger and develop my monotype skills further and continue to explore beneath the surface.