THE “RESPECT” SERIES
In 2008, the “RESPECT” series began. It embodies a series of work inspired by a dugout canoe brought back from the South Seas by the crew of the Picton Castle. The name given to this canoe, “RESPECT”, is derived from the island peoples’ respect for the sea that gives them their livelihood through fishing and transportation.
The canoe measures 18-20 feet long and 3 feet wide. Like any sea going craft, dugout canoes must be refitted and maintained. The Caribbean people use whatever they can to repair the hull - tin, fiberglass, nails, tar, caulking, hemp, or pieces of wood. When the patching is complete a fresh coat of paint is put over the hull, and after several coats, the underpaint starts to peel. The result is a wonderful array of colour etched out of the hull by the sea - only “Mother Nature” could create these designs.
The inspiration to transfer micro images of the hull of this canoe and create brilliant colour and form excited me. The fact that there was little impressionistic reality pushed me into seeking and finding shapes that I could see and understand. The caulking against the blue sky became chunks of ice and the Titanic, and the oval shape of a fibreglass patch became the atomic cloud over Hiroshima. Once I found imagery that I could give a title to I felt that the work could be understood and appreciated by the viewer.
"The intent of my new work was to simplify the compositions and increase the scale of my work, while transferring a strong visual impact in working with a limited palette and maintaining a marine theme in these semi-abstract presentations. This was accomplished partly by a complete shift in art making materials driven by economics, the desire to work in a larger format, the cost of raw materials, and the need to find non-traditional tools to create my work."
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