Reclamation Series

Original paintings from "Reclamation Series"

These paintings were featured in online art show May 2021 "Conception Arts - Frieze Week Edition".  

This ongoing series explores  the idea of the reclamation of these underwater places by showing how marine life slowly but surely makes these man-made wrecks their home. These artificial reefs will eventually appear as if they’ve always been there. Given enough time, Mother Nature will persist. How we treat her will determine if we persist.

"Reclamation: Fujikawa Maru"Acrylic on wood panel painting of the Fujikawa Maru wreck in Chuuk Lagoon
Medium: Acrylic Paint  on mounted wood panel, 30"x40".
The deck and gangway of the Fujikawa Maru is haunting in appearance in the natural light with the remaining posts and beams and walls hard lines softened by the coral. But when a light beam hits it from your video light or canister light, all the glorious colour and movement is revealed. Dancing pink and silver fish play in the swaying fan coral along the railing. What look like trailing colourful vines give the arches and remaining roof of the gangway the appearance of a pergola providing structure of flowers in full bloom. I will never forget how incredibly beautiful this wreck was as it was the first wreck I ever dove in Chuuk lagoon of the famed WW2 Hailstorm wrecks.
Soft pastel and acrylic painting of the wreck of the Hilma Hooker in Bonaire
"Reclamation: Hilma Hooker"
Medium: Acrylic Paint and soft pastel on paper, 24"x30".
I'm always fascinated by how nature claims every surface of a wreck. A steel hull becomes the perfect sunlit spot for groupings of tube sponges. Hundreds of tiny baitfish school together in and out of the wheelhouse windows. Colourful coral colonize masts. The colour of every moving, living thing is just incredible on a wreck that has become an artificial reef. 
Acrylic on wood canvas painting of the bow of the SS Saganaga wreck at Bell Island Newfoundland"Reclamation: S.S. Saganaga"
Medium: Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 24"x48".
My memory of diving the S.S. Saganaga is dominated by two things - the first is the cheerful pink coral covered bow anchor that sits on the deck where it came to rest after being blasted out of the water by a torpedo. The second striking memory is the incredibly dense and rich colours of the anemone growing all over the bow and bowlines that trail down into the depths. In so many spots this wreck appears to be covered in garlands of flowers but it's the hardy and colourful soft corals and anemone and fish that call her home now after such a violent end brought her to where she rests on the ocean floor.
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