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©   James Tovey  2020

Mermaid with her Mahi-mahi and Oceanplastic

By tov617, Jan 8 2020 08:53PM

Oil on Linen 72 x 76 inch in a red oak frame. Exhibition organised by Peterbourough Cathedral Education team and Peterborough Environment and City Trust. Located at the Peterborough Cathedral, August to October 2019 to coincide with the Luke Jerram Gaia installation.


The artwork idea was originated from bench ends and miserchord designs, particularly the Mermaid of Zennor. Framed in a large red oak frame and set up on a specially built temporary stand in the new building, the artwork received over 800 engagements many from Peterborough school children, The picture has been widely viewed and engaged with on the internet.


A further note on the making of Mermaid with her Mahi-Mahi and Oceanplastic: I held all the seaplastic objects in my hand whilst painting them, there is no fixed view point or vanishing point in the painting. The objects were never arranged other than in the painting for the effect of pattern and the illusion of space. The depth and space in the painting comes from the scale compared to the viewer and the mermaid and her fish. Some objects are larger than life-size, others smaller. I purposely did not play with combining different viewpoints in a cubist manner nor reverse perspective in a David Hockney type way; but it has a floating placement without a single perspective position and a conscious play of scale. The original concept was to make use of black delineations in a cartoon/graphic manner consistent with my ink drawings but that would have then flattened to space and obstructed the content as I felt its method would have become too dominant. I was injured at the time and had to paint with my right hand as well as my left it slowed me down and I averaged about six pieces of plastic a day, overall the picture took about a month to make, the sea blues had to be painted a few times to help with the depth in the pigment.


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JAMES TOVEY COPYRIGHT 2020