On the weekend, Graeme and I went back to the Jezzine Barracks end of Rowes Bay on another photographic expedition. We found a mermaid’s purse washed up above the low tide mark. Going by the smell, any baby shark that had lived in it was well and truly dead. Held up to the light, the rounded section of the purse was slightly transparent and amber coloured.
As part of my PressNorth residency at Umbrella Studios, I am creating a series of linocuts based on the benthos region (sea floor) of Townsville shores. Graeme and I went to Geoffrey Bay on Magnetic Island this week on another low tide excursion to take photos to inform our artwork. We have cheap waterproof cameras and we were taking underwater photos of coral, algae, and seaweed etcetera.
I was wading in the shallows, aware that it is now stinger season and that there are also stingrays about, when I heard a splash right next to my feet and saw a flash of white. I let out a yelp, half expecting a stingray barb to piece my leg but when I turned around, I found a dead barracuda, which was about forty centimetres long. I now don’t know what caused the splash or if, maybe, I even imagined it.
I am fascinated by the idea of miniature gardens in the sea. My prints aren’t scientifically correct drawings as, rather than representing the actual size of one specimen in relation to another, I use scale highly subjectively, depending on what aspect of the scene captures my attention the most.
In December, during the final month of my residency, I’m planning to print small editions of all my linocuts. So far, I have a dozen prints ready and I am looking forward to attending the Basil Hall workshop this weekend.
Here’s a cod I spotted trapped in a small pool at the bottom of a big low tide. The pool wasn’t much bigger than it, but the tide had turned and he would soon be free.
Graeme and I went on a low tide beach walk with Wildlife Queensland – Townsville Branch Inc. members, led by the erudite marine biologist, John Collins. We found some marvelous seaweeds and corals, among other things. Below are links to the photos I posted on the ABC Open website. The images are just a couple of the 300 photos I took that afternoon. I tend to take several photos of the same object, especially if I’m shooting so low down that I can’t see the LCD display. As I was only paddling in about 20cm depth of water at the most, I often just placed the camera beneath the water and pointed in the general direction to take the shot.
https://open.abc.net.au/explore/93tm6ix and https://open.abc.net.au/explore/38eq9to
I am very much enjoying my PressNorth residency. I have been experimenting with creating linocut prints of the reef to feature in Benthos Illuminated, our upcoming 2016 exhibition at Umbrella Studios, Townsville. I draw my imagery from the many photos I take while wading along the shores, especially during the really low tides. The egret, below the reef image here, was a real poser and I was able to get a lot of photos of him in a variety of poses. In the linocut, I have combined the reef with the egret.
A barely visible crab on a coral outcrop
Linocut of Egret and Reef prior to printing
Egret at South Townsville beach
It has been lovely to receive all the positive feedback on the Community Rehab NQ Beach Shack. The wonderful people who took part in the project were a joy to work with. Everyone involved was so enthusiastic, so ready to make a joke, that the days were filled with laughter.
The dead grass, in this image, is caused by people walking through the shack. It shows just how many visitors took the time to read the information about this Strand Ephemera project.