View from the Shipwright’s

This work is a representation of the view across the harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea from the residence on the quay at the East End called the Shipwright’s. Formerly a pub called the Shipwright’s Arms, its name gives us a clue to the approximate location of a previous boatyard.

During the 19th century the main livelihood in Wells was the trading of grain and coal up and down the coast and many wooden sailing vessels would have been tied up against quay. There were two shipwrights in the town who built and maintained these elegant vessels and provided them with ropes and sails.

Looking across the marsh a 19th century boat builder would have recognised the contours of the land and sea and would have used the same ‘soft’ materials as the artwork: canvas, thread and rope. These would have been preserved and protected from the degenerative effects of the weather with tar and a traditional concoction of beeswax and linseed oil.

View from the Shipwright’s combines my own artistic practices with simple sail-making and knotwork techniques and is protected from the weather in the traditional way using bitumen, beeswax and linseed oil.