Each day of August 2000 I visited Cadboro Bay beach with my camera
and documented in black and white ONE of the structures that had been
built that day, sometimes from sand, sometimes from driftwood, sometimes
from found objects.
By nature, each of the constructions was ephemeral, indeed often
being on the verge of disappearing with the incoming tide by the
time I got there. Some of the larger driftwood constructions went
through a variety of incarnations as successive beach goers played
with them over many days.
In addition to the daily discovery of beauty, surprise, imagination,
delicacy, detail and intimacy, I was frequently rewarded with some
astonishing conversations with some of the builders; a family group
working collaboratively, a grieving young man, enthusiastic daycare
wards, a meditator in his nest….and all were eager to learn
more about what I intended to do with the images.
I am an abstract artist and have used the images as the basis for
a series of drawings that form a grid of the month of August. This
“calendar” has 31 images which derived from examining
the photographs themselves, the brief notations I made daily about
the beach – its moods, colours, activities – and from
collaged pieces of former drawings (my literal “found objects”
that reflect what the beach artists were constructing.)
The challenge was to “discover” in my garbage bag of
discarded drawings the “just right” scrap of work that
would somehow reflect not just what was in a particular set of photos
but also the mood or feeling of that specific day. I am inspired
constantly by a quote from Nicolaides in “The Natural Way
to Draw”. He wrote, “It is necessary to rid yourself
of the tyranny of the object as it appears.” This small sentence
gives me both the discipline and the freedom I need to work abstractly.