‘Girl & Whale', mixed media on Khadi paper, 75x55cm, 2011
I painted a scene from this dream, so as not to forget it:
The sea was dark. Cold, black water. I was swimming for eternity, no end in sight, and I was tired. There was no land behind, in front, anywhere; just black water of infinite depth and expanse. I couldn’t do it anymore, had nothing left.
A feeling inside of me told me to keep going, not to give up, not yet. An impossible ask.
Keep going, just a little further, you’re almost there. But I could see no end to the journey and had few strokes left in me. As I reached once more, stretching to continue what now barely resembled a swimming method, the ocean suddenly shone with silver fish skimming the surface of the water in synchronised arcs. The humble shoals reflected light back to the moon as far as the eye could see. How incredibly beautiful! Breath and fatigue went on hold whilst I floated transfixed by this sight. As my eyes bathed in delight an enormous whale rose from the ocean depths and my hands moved to hold onto the back of this barnacle clad creature. So huge, so gentle, we were now gliding through the water. Wonder and belonging replaced despair as my journey continued amongst these friends of the ocean. The painting was made in the Old Police Station, Deptford, London, 2011.
Girl & Whale detail