Titled ‘Seen’ to reflect the Abyssal Grenadier being seen on camera in an unintentionally confrontational state. The creature is an intensely inquisitive, social, scavenging fish.
The viewer, witness to the damage we have wreaked on the furthest reaches of our oceans, is also seen by the Abyssal Grenadier.
It isn’t a menace but a confrontational statement that the ocean and planet is home to 'more than human' creatures who are incredibly diverse and critical. Prof. Alan Jamieson, leading expert in deep sea research, kindly shares his research, imagery, humour and diverse knowledge with me to encourage public engagement with Deep Sea ecosystems.
You’ll notice the Abyssal Grenadier’s tail (top right) as it swam into view and the unusual shape of the tail is why the Grenadier is sometimes referred to as a Rat-tail fish. The barbel on its lower jaw is super sensitive and central to how it navigates in a freezing world of Hadal Zone pitch blackness.
I’ve incorporated linear marks that add to the shape and composition but also represent misaligned cross-hairs that we repeatedly and randomly target on the natural world in our pursuit for more. The result of asserting humankind as superior to all other species.
40 x 50cm
In a private collection, England.
Extreme close up! These photos are taken with a light source to emphasise the brush textures. Pivotal to representing the movement in liquid darkness that can be appreciated when in front of the painting - it also allows an opportunity to contemplate the clear salt solution under extreme pressure which is our ocean.
Inital sketch for the commission