Supra tidal Statement
Supra tidal: The zone of the beach that is just above of the high tide mark. Also known as the “spray zone”, I discovered it to be the area where the garbage collected and stayed until the next big storm.
In May of 2009 I built a plywood box roughly 24" x 12" and went down to the beaches around West Seattle. I would spend about an hour collecting only garbage off the beach. when my box was full, I would sit down at that location and do a drawing, documenting the area in which I just collected all the garbage. When I was done with that I would take a photo of the collected garbage. Over the entire summer and fall I repeated this nine times, with the intent that each time I did it I would become further familiar with the my home landscape; to familiarize myself deeper with what I essentially look at every day. Through this, my end goal was to be able to visualize what this area must've looked like and been for the native Suquamish people who lived here before the arrival of the white man. I also sought to envision the time after their arrival and leading to the present. In the end however, though I had slight moments in which I felt I could visualize this, what really happened was a deeper discovery of the place I live and why I like to be here. I also discovered a lot about the modern society that I live in through what it chooses to toss out the window or leave at the beach. My intent with collecting this garbage was to get my head into the space of the landscape. Like any form of beach-combing, it had a calming quality about it, enabling me to focus only on the task at hand.
After my drawing/collecting sessions ended, I reflected upon what element of this landscape affected me the most. The tides were important as was the smell of decaying marine flora and fauna. Often I found parts of boats that washed up and jammed into the rocks, which gave me an ominous sense of maritime disaster. The light and the wind were ever present factors, but the most impressive part of my time spent down at these beaches was being in one place long enough to get a sense of the ever changing sky. It was rare to have a day where the sky was devoid of clouds. Often a storm would begin to brew over the Olympic Mountain range and by the time I finished my drawing it would be beginning to pelt the beach around me. Other times the wind would be intense enough that the clouds would race overhead, belying my earthbound nature with frictionless ease. As the summer bore on, the clouds became lazy monumental presences, adding to the timeless quality of a warm summer day. So clouds became my takeaway image and I decided to carve an entire series of wood clouds that float on metal rods above pedestals. Additionally, I wished to tie this aspect in with my musings on what these areas looked like in the past. For this I employed another sculpture that consists of a short and long wood table that is piled with small terra cotta boat shapes that I made. The shape of the boats are a generic open fishing boat style that came to represent for me the history that isn’t readily present in front of me. It speaks to the comings and goings of fellow creatures that stack up in the present and eventually melt away like the tide. The project also consists of eight finished beach drawings, each with written details describing the nature of that day and some photos documenting the collected garbage.