I am showcasing my shellwork with Sarah Bond, a landscape painter, who creates colourful, contemporary paintings inspired by the sea and renewable energy in her light, airy Archangel Studio in Cumnor Village, near Oxford.
The round mirrors measure 50cm diameter
The square heart pictures measure 27 x 27cm
Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss commissions.
My shellwork began in Lockdown when I yearned for the seaside and beach walks seeing what treasures could be found.
My shell obsession stemmed from my childhood Summers in the Isles of Scilly where I spent hours beach-combing. We found cowries (the rarest treasure), wentletraps, tower shells, mussels, periwinkles, top shells, whelks, cockles, mini urchins, scallops, ammonites, sting winkles, spiral shells and of course limpets. They are such beautiful forms created by nature, so fragile, yet so very strong.
Shelling is a slow, mediative process which involves sticking each shell in place in either a seemingly random or orderly pattern. You need a time and patience, which Lockdown certainly gave me. Working out which size or sort of shell matches each other requires careful attention to detail to maximise the intricate beauty of nature’s legacy from sea and shore.
Many people ask me where I get my shells from:
• From beachcombing
• I inherited a vast collection of shells
• I buy them in antique shops
• Friends pass on their cockles, mussels and scallop shells which I rigorously clean
• All the shells are ‘ethically sourced’. They are collateral damage from the fishing industry, fishing nets are not exclusive to the prey they are trying to catch and other species are captured accidentally.
• Harvesting empty shells on the shore from The Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Anglesey & Norfolk.
• The sea urchins come from Japan & The Philippines where they are considered a delicacy and their shells are then sold online
• Starfish are not a threatened species. They are extremely prolific breeders, with females of some species producing millions of eggs. The starfish I use are common, commercial-grade shell. Communities in developing countries have harvested seashells and urchins for food for centuries
• Starfish symbolize regeneration, renewal and self-sustainability