Over many years I have been fascinated by the sea, most probably due to my childhood days when I lived near Caswell Bay, in the Gower which is a most sought-after Peninsula in South Wales. The memories of the Welsh coastline are still vibrant. This picture, however, is not of the sea on the Welsh coast but is a view of the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the garden of the Jesuit Parish of St Francis of Assisi in Barbados which I was lucky enough to visit in recent years.
This seascape captured my imagination, compelling me into a relationship with it. Back home in my studio I found could make painterly marks, not to record a photographic image of what the sea looks like, but to express its unique presence and the life-giving spirit of water. My grandmother once said to me,’ The Sea is a great master.’ She found it as potentially dangerous as lifeboats often set out to rescue ships in distress. Whilst recognising the danger, I also experience the sea as ‘a mysterious life within’. In Barbados I was attracted to the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, its range of colours, its continuous movement, the ebb and flow and it’s ever changing resounding song – the sounds of the sea.
In this painting, I invite you to look within the picture. I hope you will be curious and look deeply into it. You may find there is life in the depths of the water. You may notice too a central orange creature – this pays tribute to the turtles who live between land and sea in these Caribbean Islands.
As a sculptor and painter, one aspect of my job is to encourage you, the viewer, to stop and look and to explore not only the painting that stands before you, but to connect with your own experiences, in this case your experiences of the sea and of the necessity of water. Finally, can this painting lead you to think more about the Eco needs of our planet and how to preserve our coastlines?
Annie Bromham IBVM