There is an aquarium in Plymouth and until last week I had never been inside.
Life as an artist is full of ups and downs. There a moments of anguish when everything you’ve been creating falls apart, moments of terror when the endless attempts become too much, and moments of elation when everything comes together perfectly. I have been through the full gamut of these moments in the last few weeks, and been left rung out. So I went to visit the fish. And the sharks. And the turtles. And the anemones. And the sea grass.
The Plymouth aquarium carries you from the waters of the Plymouth Sound just beyond the building, along the southwest coastline, and beyond as far as the Great Barrier Reef. Its inhabitants are bewitching and left me smiling in joy and sadness. I truly hope that we can turn the tides of the climate crisis so that these wonderful creatures and plants continue to inhabit our planet beyond the tanks of aquariums.
After my aquarium visit I had a meeting with the Eco Loans department at Pymouth Uni were I was given a glimpse of the treasures they hold. From skulls to star fish preserved in pure alcohol they have a little bit of everything. I left the meeting with a box of these wonders on loan to take back to my studio and create work from.
Living or dead, moving or frozen, the sea and coastline is full of enthralling beings. Most of us will never encounter most of them but they are there. The South West Coast Path and the sea it follows are teeming with life hidden just below the vast blue. I am looking forward to working with what’s below to celebrate its strength and its fragility as part of An Ever Moving Now.