MARINE STILL LIFE 1
A barnacled ceramic fruit bowl and various ceramic fruit, which were all separately under
the sea for two years.
A slate base.
An iron fishing buoy and patinated copper.
I started trying to make this is 2019, loosely
inspired by sea-urchins or mines, but
obviously Covid took over.
MARINE STILL LIFE 2
Two barnacled vases and artificial flowers,
underwater for two years.
These are memorable partly because of repeated deep and very cold dives required to
free them from the sea bed.
Gannet skulls and beaks in a
small aluminium float.
St Kilda, 45 miles West of North Uist has a quarter of the world's population of
Northern Gannets. Therefore given their high-impact, high-risk life, it's not surprising that they regularly cast up dead.
Four corroded aluminium fishing floats containing sea-worn quartz pebbles, sea-hearts (Entada Gigas),
mermaid's purses (cat shark or lesser-spotted dogfish egg cases) and mixed bird bones and skulls.
Aluminium floats started replacing glass in 1910, and in
turn were replaced by plastic. They are now a rare find.
Many bird carcasses appear on our beaches, particularly after storms; these are the skulls from common gulls, snipe, razorbills, hooded crows, oystercatchers and fulmars.
Resin scallops set on a
mirrored perspex block.
The scallops were cast from moulds I made from scallop shells found on the beach.
ONE EYED QUEEN
Three mannequin heads put under the sea for two years. They've been
colonised by barnacles, saddle oysters and keel-worms.
This case has been made from beach-combed driftwood, which while at sea has been
a host for 'teredo navalis' also known as 'naval shipworm'.
These boring creatures aren't actually worms, but molluscs, relatives of cockles. Historically they posed a serious threat to wooden sailing ships, up until the introduction of copper-sheathed hulls.
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
The cabinet itself was placed underwater for two years, and was colonised by barnacles and a few mussels, keel-worms and saddle oysters.
Top shelf from left:
A very large nodule of maerl (Scottish coral). This is pink in colour when alive, and is very slow-growing, at around 0.5mm a year. Beds of maerl have been dated as being up to 6,000 years old.
A scallop shell encased in lacquered salmon skin.
An old aluminium fishing float filled with water-worn quartz pebbles.
An artificial flower with saddle oysters.
An underwater camera, with undeveloped film. The growth of goose barnacles on the case indicate an American origin.
Middle shelf from left:
A willow patterned plate colonised by saddle oysters and barnacles.
Plum pudding toy.
Sea salt and resin bowl with cowrie shells.
Bottom shelf from left:
Heavily barnacled scallop shell.
A small vase with keel-worm casts, filled with lobster antennae.
A baby doll in a common skate egg case.
An old ceramic marmalade jar, colonised by maerl and filled with mermaid's purses (egg-cases for cat shark/dogfish)