Oceanic: Keyhole
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The motivation behind the Keyhole series is driven by the wonder and awe of the ocean and the fascination I have with the infinitesimal. The tini… Read More
The motivation behind the Keyhole series is driven by the wonder and awe of the ocean and the fascination I have with the infinitesimal. The tiniest details - ripples on water, the texture of coral and the lives of micro-organisms, emphasise the possibility and enormity contained in the smallest of our environment’s elements. Life begins in the sea with millions of single celled microscopic plants called phytoplankton and through photosynthesis, they energise the entire ocean and support the ecosystems enriching all of our lives. These micro-organisms are fundamental to life and feature in the Keyhole series as tiny dots and lines -bubbling life into the pieces by moving the eye around and inviting the viewer to look deeper into the drawing and discover the beauty of the microscopic. Their fragility is emphasised by the contrast presented by the Swell series, depicting what at first glance is the enormity of the ocean as a whole, when in reality, the fragility of the microscopic is the vulnerability of the whole. I use the term ‘keyhole’to capture a certain intimacy in the constrained view, a feeling of looking into something extraordinary yet private, a world rarely seen nor sought, yet flourishing and existing- an essential building block of life. The Keyhole series was inspiredby the plight of coral, lives of micro-organisms, and tiny interconnected (keyhole) worlds of the ocean. Read Less
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Oceanic: Keyhole
Arne Naess, who first termed ‘Deep Ecology’, describes a unique heightened experience, where one feels a self-realisation that one is intrinsically connected to nature - ‘a feeling often called oceanic because many have had this feeling on the ocean’.

The motivation behind the Keyhole series is driven by the wonder and awe of the ocean and the fascination I have with the infinitesimal. The tiniest details - ripples on water, the texture of coral and the lives of micro-organisms, emphasise the possibility and enormity contained in the smallest of our environment’s elements. Life begins in the sea with millions of single celled microscopic plants called phytoplankton and through photosynthesis, they energise the entire ocean and support the ecosystems enriching all of our lives. These micro-organisms are fundamental to life and feature in the Keyhole series as tiny dots and lines -bubbling life into the pieces by moving the eye around and inviting the viewer to look deeper into the drawing and discover the beauty of the microscopic. Their fragility is emphasised by the contrast presented by the Swell series, depicting what at first glance is the enormity of the ocean as a whole, when in reality, the fragility of the microscopic is the vulnerability of the whole.

I use the term ‘keyhole’to capture a certain intimacy in the constrained view, a feeling of looking into something extraordinary yet private, a world rarely seen nor sought, yet flourishing and existing- an essential building block of life. The Keyhole series was inspiredby the plight of coral, lives of micro-organisms, and tiny interconnected (keyhole) worlds of the ocean.
Figure 1. Sophie Bray, Oceanic: Keyhole, 2009, Pencil on paper, 50 x 66 cm.
Figure 2. Sophie Bray, Oceanic: Keyhole, 2010, Pencil on paper, 50 x 66 cm.
Figure 3. Sophie Bray, Oceanic: Keyhole, 2009, Pencil on paper, 50 x 66 cm.
Figure 4. Sophie Bray, Oceanic: Keyhole, 2010, Pencil on paper, 50 x 66 cm.