Here is a fishy catch of the day – my Inside Out Fish. Named as such because I was on the lookout for a texture to describe the essence of a fish; in the past I have used nets for satsumas, but this time because what I’ve been making recently has been totally tied in with the weird few months of lockdown I wanted something that related to these isolated weeks of not being able to see the sea. During daily walks in the wood with Lola, our Lurcher, I’d observe the ferns elegantly unfurl themselves gradually, and realised that I could use one particular variety which when pressed into plaster of Paris could resemble the spine of a fish. I used both sides of the leaf in the end because both sides were equally beautiful but contrasting in design. I love the fact that the fish has ‘skin’ but also a spinal pattern representing death, so that it can speak of the catastrophe which is currently happening in our oceans. This is due to myriad reasons, such as climate change, global greed and industrial factory fishing practices which massacre underwater life indiscriminately.
When the world was ‘poorly’ there was much talk about how there could be a new normal which cared for our planet, sadly I believe that humans have a very short memory and the allure of acquisition and ‘Want It Now!’ will soon override these thoughts of protecting the environment. So I will continue to make my fish sculptures because making with meaning is important to me.