The sea paintings started as the end result of a few years longing for the sea. I’ve been living overseas for the first time in my life in Sweden – far away from Australia, my native country. I speak to my mother on the phone. I imagine the cables from the northern hemisphere to the southern, travelling over the seas of the world – Lake Mälaren, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Great Australian Bight, Bass Strait, Port Phillip Bay Melbourne. To my mum’s house in Carnegie.
The sea both divides us and joins us together – it allows something new to grow and connects to something old. Though I think sometimes of the famous poem by Stevie Smith – Not waving but drowning (1953) to express my various moods about living in another country.
The rhythm and pattern of waves fascinate me. Standing at the beach looking towards the horizon, a pattern of infinite variety of waves coming towards you. Sometimes the light glitters on the surface – the light messages from the stars.
And sometimes you can see the universe of stars reflected in a small area of water – breaking up the rigid patterns in your soul – breaking down the barriers. I welcome it and look forward to it.
Of course it means something completely different if you’ve lost a beloved in a tsunami – or in a lake, a pond or in a bath. Or lost your homeland and livelihood because of rising sea levels and pollution. Water and waves can seem cruel. But there’s something lost and something found perhaps for everybody?