Ghost Gear: Turner's Burning Hulk, 2014/15

Turner painted his oil-sketch ‘Seascape with Burning Hulk’ in1828. It shows a derelict ship against a murky horizon with smoke pouring from it into an overcast sky. My work reconfigures Turner’s painting into an extended sequence on separate sheets of paper butted together in one array.

They were all drawn from memory, while sitting in my boat on the tidal river Wye. I used watercolour pencils held together in clutches of twelve that oozed their pigment onto the river-water saturated paper. The pencils were cycled through a collection of twenty-one colours drawn from an analysis of Turner’s painting. In this manner I produced, from memory, 21 versions of Turner’s hulk.

A second series was drawn upside down as reflections of the first, starting with the sea above and working towards the upside-down hulk and finishing with the turbulent sky.

Incongruously, footballs floated by, some in extreme states of depletion, swept backwards and forwards on the endless tide.

The drawings are displayed in one array of 42 pictures and completed with a central horizon of depleted and mouldering footballs, all rescued from the river while I drew.

To see Turner's Seascape with Burning Hullk visit the Tate Gallery Website.


 
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