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An extract from a review by John Grant in the East Anglian Daily Times: The art of appreciating a coastline’s caress

Writing, photography, painting and sculpting combine with the allure of the sea, estuaries, marshes and reedbeds to produce an intoxicating mixture, as JOHN GRANT reports.

Suffolk’s celebrated coast is subtle rather than dramatic, no towering sea cliffs here, no rugged landscapes, but it has power – a bewitching power to engage and beguile those who come under its spell.

Naturalists have long been fascinated by the coast’s seemingly endless wildlife wonders, environmentalists have fought to protect it. And artists have drawn inspiration from it in a wealth of creative ways.

The nine talented artists in the Tidal Margins collective certainly have. Six portray their feelings about this acclaimed area of sea, beaches, estuaries, rivers, reedbeds, marshes and heathland on canvass in various ways. Two writers put down their feelings in words and one sees the coast through a camera’s lens. All have a unifying love for the area –a love that illuminates their works and a love that draws the onlooker in.

EastAnglianDailyTimesSaturday,September29,2012 http://www.eadt.co.uk

For close to a year we have, collectively and individually, walked, swam and sailed the Suffolk coast. Our footsteps have traced the shoreline in snow, rain and howling winds; with hot water bottles strapped to our bodies and flasks of tea to fuel us, we have drawn, painted and written the landscape.  We have sat through balmy, sun-filled hours, watched sun and moon rise and set; seen the port lights compete with the stars; followed the paths of container ships and seals; picked up pebbles, shells, wax and corn husks from the shore.  We have told stories, dropped words into the sea and dreamed of what lay beneath the waves.

 

For someone who has grown up and lived on the Suffolk Coast all my life and have a deep affinity with coastal Suffolk I felt the exhibition really captured something elemental about the place – something of its history and mystery

Wonderful interpretation of the wild local landscapes

Wonderfully local, beautiful and bright

A lovely exuberant exhibition with a very varied range of styles and media making a very coherent group.

Best group show I have seen for a long while – love the ‘journey’ around our coast and the accompanying text.  Thank you

The Suffolk Heritage Coast is constantly evolving with the actions of natural forces in particular, the sea – there is a short and urgent timeframe to capture for future generations, its power, its history and its inspiration. Landscape is an essential component of people’s surroundings. It is an expression of the diversity of their shared cultural and natural heritage. It is a foundation of their identity. Therefore, more than ever, there is a need to interpret and value contemporary landscape anew.

A collective of six artists, two writers and a photographer are working  to paint, draw, photograph, print, collect, sculpt and write the Suffolk Coastline from Covehithe to Felixstowe.

For close to a year we have, collectively and individually, walked, swam and sailed the Suffolk coast. Our footsteps have traced the shoreline in snow, rain and howling winds; with hot water bottles strapped to our bodies and flasks of tea to fuel us, we have drawn, painted and written the landscape.  We have sat through balmy, sun-filled hours, watched sun and moon rise and set; seen the port lights compete with the stars; followed the paths of container ships and seals; picked up pebbles, shells, wax and corn husks from the shore.  We have told stories, dropped words into the sea and dreamed of what lay beneath the waves.

Many of us have an emotional connection with the sea.  It can be seen as a symbol of birth, of transformation, of death and of life; it represents our unconscious.  Throughout history, the oceans and seas have fed us and offered a way of exploring the world.  Yet the sea can also take lives, change coastlines and destroy communities.  It is a natural element, but not a neutral force and, as much as we may wish it, the sea cannot be made static or controlled.  Its power, both positive and negative, can only be understood retrospectively, by capturing the trace of where it has once been and the effect that it has had.

Tidal Margins is concerned with narratives – both visual and written – that connect people and place.  History, memory, imagination, the past and the present are all woven together to offer a new way of seeing the skyscapes, seascapes and landscapes of the Suffolk coast.