18 Jul 21 in Series
“Now you ask “What’s this romantic boy
Who laments what’s done and gone?
There was no romance on a cold winter ocean and the gale sang an awful song
But my fathers knew of wind and tide, and my blood is maritime
And I heard an old song down on Fisherman’s Wharf
Can I sing it just one time?
Can I sing it just one time?” Lyrics from Fisherman’s Wharf by Stan Rogers
For one reason or another this song makes me think of an Art World Chorus singing “painting is done and gone”.
I confess I like singing Sea Shanties and painting pictures of ships. It started with me wanting to relate the mass of these vessels to the diminished scale of my human body, and communicate my felt sense of physical vulnerability when working on and near them.
They’re like modern mercantile equivalents of Gothic Cathedrals. As a Gothic Cathedral is a powerful symbol of an emerging medieval consciousness, these structures are poignant symbols for our time and culture. Like our mass commercial culture, they are our construct, extensions of ‘us’ and ‘our stuff’. Our boatloads of stuff. They transport our goods and tell us something about who we are.
With contradictions in mind I see these massive, ponderous entities as, at once, ominous and vulnerable. Especially in relation to the green, blue & black sea.