Most days I walk along the beach – I call it “Beachcombing” but it is just noticing what is around me and picking up any items that “speak” to me (as well as litter and marine debris). I don’t necessarily know how I will use the pieces that I collect but there will be something about the colour, shape and most often, texture, that draws my attention. The object might be metal, wood, plastic, cloth, rubber or any manner of material but there is usually a common thread. This is that the item will have started out as useful – mass produced, neat and tidy. By the time I find out, when the sea has done it’s work, the once pristine, utilitarian thing has become a unique piece – worn and tattered and no longer of any use to anyone – except me and others who appreciate this kind of thing. Here are some items from this morning’s walk from Climping to Littlehampton.
Back home, my finds are all “filed” according to material but only after I have photographed them and added them to the appropriate folder on the computer. Thus I have two ways of looking for items that I think will work together although I am pretty good at remembering what I have.
I had brought some papers with me and decided next that I would create a series of collages using, for the most part, genuinely “found” papers. So often the term “found” is used to describe items which are actually “bought” from second hand shops, car boot sales, online auctions etc. I try to work, as exclusively as possible, with items that I have found along the Chichester Harbour coastline, adding to them when necessary but always using them as the starting point for my work. The papers used in the pieces below are:
disposable plate; take away coffee cup; take away sandwich wrapper; take away cookie bag; sandpaper; cider cardboard packaging; miscellaneous plastic; paper from an oil filter; and, most importantly, a tide table.
Disposable food service products made from paper, paperboard, and corrugated fibreboard, including cups, plates, bowls, napkins, take away bags, trays, egg cartons, doilies and tray liners, can also include or be coated with plastic to improve wet strength or grease resistance.
So, my collage collection includes hidden plastic and the title “Turning the Tide” refers not only to the use of a local tide table in the work, but also to the fact that I hope that we are now turning the tide in the fight against plastics and other rubbish in our seas. This is and will remain the core inspiration behind the work that I produce.
Collins Dictionary – “Turn the tide” – to change the general course of events.
Earlier this year, my husband and I had a wonderful two weeks in beautiful Northumbria. It was our first visit and won’t be our last. Three things summed it up for us – glorious unspoilt beaches, warm and friendly people, and excellent well priced food! What more could you want? The weather was fantastic and, apart from the day that Storm Ali came and blew my husband’s prescription glasses into the North Sea, but that’s another story!
Due to the kindness of a couple of folk on my favourite Facebook Page – “Beachcombing, British Coastline), I found my way to a great spot near Seahouses and also to Seaham in County Durham. Here I found not the plentiful sea glass, pottery or limpets in plentiful supply elsewhere, but my sort of found objects:
Conveyor belt parts
Rubber on textile
Old boat nails
Light bulb parts
When I got home, I had a lovely time putting together mini assemblages from these and other bits and pieces
Fifteen mini assemblages
The nine from above
We recently had a long holiday in wonderful Northumbria. Such a beautiful County – the least populated in England – we met many friendly locals and were blown away (almost literally in a gale that took my husband’s prescription specs into the North Sea!) by the stunning beaches … and by the almost total lack of tourist litter on them. One day we came across a party of schoolchildren who regularly beachcomb for rubbish – a marvellous initiative.
I did go to two locations (given to me by friends on a Beachcombing Facebook page) where I found some of my sort of treasure. One of these was Seaham in County Durham – a shrine to sea glass collections from all over the world. Glass is not “my thing” however – my tastes are altogether less pretty ….
Leather and fishing line
Oh Oh Oh
A collection of rubber and canvas
Having now washed and catalogued my finds, the more difficult task is to decide what happens to them next. As you will see above, one item suggested a face straight away but, as I do not usually work in a representational way, I shall have to see what else comes to mind!
After much hard work and preparation we are nearly ready for the Chichester Art Trail which starts tomorrow and runs over the this weekend and next and this Bank Holiday Monday. My husband Alan (Alan Frost Photography) and I are exhibiting from our studio at Venue 79 in Fishbourne.
Entry will be via the garden (another work in progress!) and the first thing you will see is this:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
You can come and guess how many lighters I have collected from Chichester Harbour during 2017 but over the years (2008-2017) during the Great British Beach Clean (every 3rd weekend of September volunteers removed and recorded 10,240 cigarette lighters and tobacco pouches. Source: Marine Conservation Society
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