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Chapter: The power of the Ooze

By Simon Read


"The Power of the Sea" was published in 2014 by Samson & Co Ltd with Royal West of England Academy on the occasion of a survey exhibition of the same title at the RWA 5th April-6th July 2014. To which the author also contributed two works and a catalogue entry "Falkenham Saltmarshes" with a short statement, here quoted in full: In 1980, I took the ferry to the Hook of Holland from Sheerness with an attaché case full of Dutch Guilders with the intention of buying a barge. A day later, after an exchange of contracts in front of a solicitor and a further transaction in the back of the car, I was the owner of a ship 100ft long. As I write I am sitting below on board her. 33 years and a lifetime enthusiasm for the sea has found me now deeply involved in the community response to environmental change on the coast and the need as an artist with a deep familiarity with estuary and coastal dynamics to develop a practice that can materially contribute to a discussion that I consider vital. When I first arrived in Suffolk I built a camera to explore what it would feel like taking pictures offshore that respond to the experience of being at sea. Through this I wanted to reflect upon that particular combination of instability and control. Now through living with and in an estuarine system, I am more interested in what makes it work, where my modicum of knowledge creates an appetite to see what I can bring to the table as an artist. If I just let go of that preoccupation with product I can follow the desire to meddle, to find ways to speculate upon how coastal change happens and to do this in such a way that drawing can become the systems it describes in graphic terms. Like any other artist, I believe that reality is transferable. The porosity and permeability of a medium quickly elides into the give, take and fluidity of coastal processes. Making is becoming and to become is to develop a level of understanding that is communicable and this for me is where a conversation starts

Publisher: Sansom & Company Ltd
Year: 2014
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