The direction that my work was leading me after the first term was a path I felt very comfortable with. It was all bout the ocean and how we understand it. My dissertation was coming into full circle and After I had finalized it and read it over, I felt like I knew where I wanted to be as far as my work goes, and that place is between the viewer and the ocean, with illustration acting as the bridge between the two.
Whilst finalizing my dissertation and reflecting on how we illustrate the ocean, I started dropping blue ink into clear water and photographing it to create swirling images. I found that depending on the angle of the drop, the turbulence of the water, and to an extent it’s temperature, each drop would produce different result.
I experimented with them continually until I had what I saw as a storyboard about transformation. I thought perhaps that these images could be used to depict the generation of life in our oceans from it’s earliest days millennia ago, were the ink spots and swirls could be representing protozoa and bacteria developing in the young oceans. Although this work had a sense of belonging in the theme, I still felt that it couldn’t be used as strongly in terms of context. Where would it’s place be?
In the meantime I had acquired a new platform to work with: a tablet. I had never done any form of digital based work before so I felt very eager to give it a try.
Each one of the digital pieces took into account various scientific aspects about diving and how we interact with the underwater world, illustrating phenomena such as how light refraction occurs in water and alters our perception of colour at certain depths, bioluminescence, encounters with big animals such as sharks and how internal pressure changes affect U at depth. All these phenomena are accurate scientific aspects of the underwater world. Once again, I felt that the theme was strong, but now context was hat I needed to focus on.
Where could these works be used? What purpose would they serve? How would they work? These are the questions I had to keep asking myself in order to make sure that the final project would be able to flow correctly and have its place in the world. Although the pieces for the exhibition are now sitting quite comfortably where the are, the pieces I feel would work much better in diving centres, conservation agencies and presented in seminars to discuss our emotional responses to the ocean. The projects that came before the exhibition had helped me realise this by process f elimination. I had identified what each one was lacking and tried to include the elusive factor in the following project.