Watercolour on photo paper | 31 pieces, each 42 x 59.4 cm/16.5 x 34″
In situ Back Lane West, Redruth, UK
What Once Was is a collection of thirty-one paintings, each one a loose rendition of photographed boats. As research for designing and making the tea bag boat, I documented a wide variety of small vessels tethered in harbours all along the Cornish coast. These photographs became an ocular journal —a way to record not only shapes, sizes, colours and watery places but to act as a reminder of the emotional and exteroceptive aspects of living a life by the sea. These stripped down painted interpretations displace the object boat from its watery setting, visually referring to inner/outer, conscious/subconscious, geographic/ethereal. They are unplanned, unmeasured, unrefined. The water drenched with pigment is allowed to forge its own course as the paper buckles to accommodate moisture while the drips and bleeds that move from the basic boat forms speak beyond shapes and shadows into movement and motion. They dwell in the interstices of what once was.