The Fishermen’s Handwriting on the Surface of the Sea

Inspired by “The Panorama Mesdag”  “The Fishermen’s Handwriting on the Surface of the Sea”  creates a nowadays visualization of the sea: a panorama based on one working week of four fishermen. By using light on photographic paper a delicate drawing of these beautiful patterns emerges and a poetic relation between GPS recordings and photography is suggested: both a true recording of reality that opens for a new experience of space and memory.


Detail of “The Fishermen’s Handwriting”, a panoramic view on four fisher vessel gps tracks. More images on flickr

This version of the work* was commissioned by The Zuiderzee Museum. Thanks to PAIR and Badgast and the skippers of the SCH45, FD281, SCH10, FR249, TH10, GO4 and the P224 (flatfish and shrimp fishery).
*This version was presented under the name “Seascape”

Artistic motivation
The choreography of the sea is a telling, invisible language. The sea is a space where all routes are erased by the waves.  Patterns that emerge, disappear in minutes. What exists in the practice of fisherman and other protagonists of the sea, is what we give attention by drawing  and making this work.

“…seascape shares a quality with the stage: both begin empty, with an inescapable horizon. This can be tilted, bent, raised, or lowered at will, with a cast of characters-ships, boats, people, weather-taking their moment upon it.”, James Hamilton on the work of William Turner in ‘Turner, The Late Seascapes’, Yale University Press 2003.

Practical information
Year of production 2012. The installation consist of 12 panels set in a circular construction. Images are made by light-pen drawing on photographic paper. The installation (4 x 4 metre)  is available for exhibition purposes via the artists.