Our oceans are being plundered.
Stocks of some popular fish in British waters have fallen to 6% of the level they were 120 years ago (Marine Conservation Society 2010).
The global fishing fleet is 2-3 times larger than that which the oceans can sustainably support. In other words people are taking more fish out of the ocean than can be replaced by those remaining.
Unless the current situation improves, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048 (WWF 2012).
The creation of marine conservation areas is likely to have little impact whilst industrial overfishing continues at increasing depths in our oceans.
My work for this exhibition has arisen from contemplating these issues, hoping to highlight the dire situation and raise awareness of the need for sustainable fishing.
‘End of the Line’ (above) has two components: firstly a scroll listing in classical script the latin names of endangered fish species, like soldiers names on a war memorial, amd secondly an empty fish tank reflecting the potential state of the world’s oceans.
‘On Reflection’ was inspired by finding fish skeletons washed up on the beach, talking to local fishermen and discovering how dead fish are being returned to the sea if they are outside the boat’s allotted quota. The porcelain fish form is embossed with a net, and rocks incessantly on the mirrored glass. It is fragile and unstable. The polished black granite stone creates additional reflections, and alludes to a grave or memorial.
Other work on show includes a collection of part-glazed porcelain paper clay forms which I have called ‘The Nereides’ after the Haliad nymphs or sea goddesses who individually represented various aspects of the sea including waves, currents, foam and the shore.
‘Wave’ is a collection of curled unglazed porcelain forms arranged on raked sand, as in Japanese gardens.
I am also selling unframed prints, small paintings, cards and copies of my photobook ‘Refelections on Water’. Come and see the show!