Human life in a coastal town is literally kept moving along by buoyant objects. Leisurely sailors and working commuters alike are protected by the presence of lifejackets and held proud of the water by buoyant design. For the coastal dweller such objects are part of the vernacular yet on a broader scale, buoyancy has accrued associations of human risk and political ideology. Against this symbolic backdrop, buoyancy for me also has a personal resonance; it’s the language of where I come from but it’s also the language of survival in turbulent times.
These images show the beginnings of investigating forms and graphical symbols in relation to the lifejacket and include initial experimentation with Pine tar as a painting medium. Pine tar was historically used to waterproof rope and wedged between deck boards of naval vessels to prevent leakage. This process is still the preferred conservation method used on historic ships.