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This is an evolving online exhibition, more works will be added as they are completed – check back from time to time.
(166) Catherine Stringer - Today's Modern Well Dressed Shark
The page from ’Newnes Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia, Volume 1, The story of the World in the days of long ago’ which inspired my artwork is ‘Ancestor of the Shark, which shows images of primitive fish from the Devonian period. They look fairly harmless.
I decided to focus on the contemporary shark, which is usually portrayed as aggressive, fearsome and dangerous, a silent predator that can catch you unawares. As such it is often used as a cultural symbol of looming or unsuspected danger.
My modern well-dressed shark is made from paper, handmade using marine macroalgae (seaweeds) – lowly life forms from the sea which like sharks are also often misunderstood and underappreciated. A number of different seaweeds have been used, which have each been individually processed. The pulps were then combined in water to form this single sheet of paper.
The colours in the paper are all the natural colours of the pulps. The work has been coated with a UV protective semi-gloss varnish. The brown and white pulps will not change colour significantly with exposure to light, but the greens can be expected to gradually lose their intensity over time. This will not affect the integrity of the paper.
My art practice has always been inspired by water and the sea. I am drawn to the visual and sensual qualities of water, and I love being near it, on it, in it, under it. I am also attracted by the symbolism of water and its almost unlimited ability to carry metaphor.
I am primarily a painter, and I have spent many years painting underwater scapes and dreamscapes depicting underwater figures. However I am now also working extensively with seaweed paper. My investigation of papermaking from seaweed was initiated during a residency on King Island in 2011, and I have spent considerable time since then developing and refining my techniques. My work is usually now based around sea-related narratives, with a focus on underlying themes of separation, loss and transformation. The papermaking process is in itself a wonderful metaphor for the process of transformation and is an ideal medium for my subject matter.
Link to Catherine’s Art Aviso profile HERE
Catherine was provided with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia.
The story of the World in the days of long ago
Ancestor of the shark -The age of the reptiles.