In preparation for this series I read a report on the Cowichan Bay Pacific oysters published by Dr. Goetz Schuerholz. Dr. Schueholz’ paper elucidated the importance of these creatures as a keystone species: they provide habitat for other organisms, sequester carbon, purify and filter water, absorb bio-toxins. Any of these elements would make worthy subject matter for paintings. However, of the many aspects of these creatures and habitat I have chosen three elements on which to focus for this series of paintings; 1) the layering of silt and gravel to create the habitat, 2) the flow of tides and of the fresh waters into the bay, and 3) the shapes of the oysters and their accretion in beds.
Rather than render the appearance of beds I have chosen to interpret these phenomena more abstractly – 1) by applying multiple layers of semi transparent paint over marks and other colours, 2) by using wandering line and shapes suggesting movement to evoke a sense of flow, and 3) by using a theme of ovoid shapes suggesting the oysters.