Category Archives: The Truth of Water

Art of the Sea

Tonight on BBC4 we have another chance to watch Art of the Sea at 20:00.  In this episode the poet Owen Sheers looks at the work of writers inspired by the sea including Joseph Conrad, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Robert Louis Stevenson and … Continue reading

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Eel Wrestling at Nambucca Heads

  “Don’t go into the water today, it’ll be like wrestling eels”, warned my mother inlaw after inspecting the beach on her morning walk. High tide and rough seas had brought in huge quantities of seaweed which was still writhing in the … Continue reading

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Everybody loves Turner!

The Unstable States exhibition has been running for a while now, so I thought I’d share some results regarding traffic to the blog. The most popular searches have been for the artist JMW Turner or for specific works by him, with folk … Continue reading

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Tynemouth Pier: North-East Wind, by Alfred William Hunt (1830-1896)

Tynemouth Pier was constructed in 1866 to reduce the number of shipwrecks on the notorious Black Middens rocks. Hunt was greatly influenced by Turner is his treatment of water and weather. These writhing, icy waves are reminiscent of those in many of … Continue reading

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Whitehaven from Parton, Cumbria, by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1755-1851)

Turner used a technique called ‘scratching out’ to achieve the realistic white spray and foam of the waves. He grew his thumbnail especially for this purpose.

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Orfordness, by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

Storm waves like those depicted are responsible for the flint deposited along the coastline of Orford Ness, forming the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe.

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Sidmouth, by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

Sidmouth is no stranger to violent sea storms. This watercolour was painted not long after the ‘Great Gale’ of 1824 described by an eye witness: “Twern’t a sea – not a bit of it – twer the great sea hisself rose … Continue reading

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