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'Final Passage' my story

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Lockdown has been many different experiences for everyone - I have to say I've been a bit up and down emotionally. I've had good days and bad days but the one thing that has kept me focused on a positive path has been my art and I have seen lockdown as a golden opportunity to explore ideas that I've had in the past and never had the time to do.

I had the idea for this painting away back in 2013. I was very inspired by the departure of the world’s oldest surviving clipper ship the City Of Adelaide (also known as the Carrick) from Irvine seven years ago this September. What an amazing piece of history that sat outside my studio before she headed off to her final resting place in Australia where she is now being restored.

I wanted to produce a painting resembling what she looked like when she left Irvine but also with a hint of what she would have been like in her heyday. I loved seeing the years of timber patchwork holding her together and I have tried to create a similar feel by using a collage of card and fabrics. There are also a couple of names in the woodwork, I wonder can you see them? I wanted to remember the many people who lost their lives aboard this ship - the names are of two infants who died on a crossing in 1874 on which there was eight deaths and the ship ended up being stranded on Kirkaldy beach. The flags I have used mark her launch in 1864 and her arrival and departure from Irvine as I wanted this painting to commemorate her time here.

This piece would have been ideal to exhibit at the Courtyard Studios annual exhibition this September at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine. The theme was to follow the 2020 ‘Year of Coasts and Waters’ celebrations but sadly the show will not be going ahead. For the time being I am happy to have accomplished something during this strange time that otherwise may have been left on the back burner.

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