I love to be at the ocean, preferable under it. Over the years, every chance I get I will go Scuba diving. In the Irish waters I have not tried yet due to the cold but if I am in a warm climate it will be one of the first things I will try to experience. I hold a PADI licence and have progressed to doing deep dives of over 40 meters down and using nitrox gas cylinders to allow me to go deeper and for longer.
It is really another world down there with so much to explore and experience. The wild life and landscape are like another planet. And to be able to float around weightless makes me feel like some sort of astronaut.
Coming back up from these depths can be a long and dangerous process, you feel like you are a hot air balloon. Slowly but surely you ascend and then stop at around 5 meters for a safety stop to depressurise and make sure you don't explode at the surface like a bottle of shaken cola.
Then finally you break the surface and it is like waking up after a dream. The sound and the colours flood back in. It is a very special moment as you come back to reality.
Down to the depths
For this sculpture in Weston Super mare, England I tried to capture the moment of entering and leaving the watery abyss. The overall theme of the project was underwater and as a way of entering and leaving the site we had two banks of sand that you walked between. It was a very simple piece in design, as you walked down into the sculptures you were to feel like you were going underwater.
On one side I created a natural landscape of mountains and cliffs and then a wavy ocean that your eye line would break through and you went down. On the other Maxim Gazendam from Holland made the skyline of Westen.
He did a nice job of it and I helped near the end when I had done my side. I really hate making straight lines and buildings from sand but the sand here makes details fun to do.
My side was much more fun for me as I could just make up a fantasy landscape and the roughness of the carving added lots of free detail. I did add an few building here and there to break it up and some roads and bridges. All like little toys.
The wavy sea was carved in perspective so that looking accross the surface it made the whole thing look life size.
It reminded me very much of that moment when your head comes back up above the waves.
For the side walls we left them quite bare. There really isn't that much going on in the sea and also we knew that people would be poking at whatever we did on that surface as they entered. The local cats were already adding their mark to it. All we really did with it was add a few fish and other creatures.
I also had time near the end to add a few more fish here and there around the site where empty areas needed to be filled. Here's a moray ell.
That's it for the sculpture but I do have one or two other things I would like to share about the project.
Nerds and slags
Weston is a nice little place and on weekends has a pretty active night life. We decided to brave a night out together and thought it was a good idea to dress like the locals we had seen. So the girls got dressed up in some pretty slutty clothes and the guys got dressed up as nerds. We had all gone shopping to the many charity shops around the town and had bought things we would never be seen dead in and then it was off for a night of watching a panto and then clubbing. We really looked a sight and had a crazy fun evening.
From Left to right
Jill, Leanardo, Suzanne, Anique, Alex, Nicola, Micela, Moi, Joris, Niall, Thomas and Maxim.
Of course the night ended in some cat fighting as is seems to be a tradition in Weston Super mare.
For a day off Balbrick, Suzanne and myself went to Bistol where there was an exhibition of Banksy at the art gallery . It was said that the exhibition was set up over a weekend without anybody knowing. He just came in and pimped the whole gallery. I like banksy's work and it was nice to see some of it live but looking at it I started to understand that this guy must have a whole factory creating for him. In no way could one guy produce so much work and in so many materials.
My favourite was this old balding Tweet Bird and from this I know he must have some amazing animatronics guys working with him as the little fella would open his eye and move around.
Nearly every piece in the exhibition was like he had broken in to the museum and graffitied a classic. It was all quite clever but for me the most clever thing about Banksy is how he controls the narrative about himself.
I hope you'll join me again soon
If you would like to support me