Ideas emerge slowly, and I think the best ideas need time to settle and mature. Some new ideas might seem fascinating at first, but given time the lack of substance and ordinariness dulls their initial interest. Over two years ago I had an idea for a body of work that took a hold of my imagination and nagged at me. But I wasn’t ready to tackle it yet; the concept needed time to mature, to gather inspiration and momentum.
I put it aside and have been following other projects, other themes, other exhibitions. What I’ve noticed is this one idea keeps gnawing at me. It tells me that this idea is “a keeper”, not a silly thought that in hindsight wasn’t so fantastic after all.
The concept for my new body of work has slowly been taking form, and I know that once I return to Australia I will be ready to tackle it. To dive into it headfirst, you could say. As a prototype I created this painting, to experiment with the imagery and colour palette I am envisioning for the series.
"The Dead Reef" was painted in delicate layers of translucent watercolour washes. The bleached underwater garden is a sad nod to the unfortunate phenomenon of entire coral reefs dying out, transforming into ghostly graveyards where once a vibrant and colourful life thrived in abundance. She is a memoir to the vast turbulent ocean, breathing salty sorrow, inspiring myth and mystery.
To me the ocean is a great and vast expanse, an alien underwater world. The salty wind is restless and tireless, traveling across great distances, bringing tales of faraway mythical places not traversable by land. The ocean is our planets greatest mystery, the only realm humans have not been able to fully explore. She is a watery grave, a deep darkness, an endless source of inspiration for melancholics and poets.