On The Surface
1 – 29 April 2015
Photography printed on glass, driftwood, screws
On The Surface is a series of photographic prints of seascapes printed onto glass, and mounted in driftwood. The idea of greater forces being at work dictating behaviour on the ‘surface’, and a path on the surface that most are totally oblivious to both fascinates and frightens Sarah Mayhew Craddock, who views elemental forces as offering great personal perspective.
Drawing upon her fascination with the layered nature of understanding, this idea is represented in this series of work, and in The Natural Course of Things video installation, through isolating the surface allowing viewers to consider what lies above and beneath the surface level that we almost entirely exist on, and how that surface is influenced by factors that are beyond our control (in the case of the sea: wind direction, daylight, the moon, magnetic forces, the seabed, and tides, and other weather conditions), in turn dictating pathways on the surface.
This series of works places emphasis on the mystery, force, beauty and changing nature of the sea’s surface, whilst also inviting the viewer to acknowledge the enormity and influencing factors of what lies beneath and above. The images were taken of various seas, mainly around the UK, most of which the artist photographed from a kayak or boat.
Interested in the idea that the glass was once sand that has been on its own journey, and attracted by the opaque quality of the print of the sea, with its relationship to sand, the artist set this printed glass into driftwood that was beach-combed on the northern coast of Scotland. Sarah Mayhew Craddock was attracted to the idea of this once landlocked organic matter, driftwood, adapting to its environment – once a tree, then perhaps made into a fence-post, only to find itself taken by the tides, bobbing on the surface of the sea, later to be washed ashore, gathered up, and re-purposed acknowledging its brave life-cycle.