Today Maggie Mae and I went to Lake Ferry. I thought it would be really windy and cold but in fact it was quite warm with only a slight breeze.
When we got there I parked by Lake Oneke which is a tidal lake that runs into the sea at Lake Ferry. And I thought about how Lake Ferry isn't a lake at all just a place called Lake Ferry on the South Wairarapa coast where there is a pub and where the ferry across Lake Wairarapa left from. Today the tide was out and the lines and marks were very sinuous.
From the car as we walked around the tidal outflow from the lake the black backed gulls up on the cliffs started wheeling in the sky, crying a calling urgently as if they were issuing a warning to somebody. Maybe they had nests and fledglings on the cliff.
Where the out flow from the lake meets the sea it is always wild and disturbed. People have drowned here not realising the power of the sea.
As we walked on closer to the coast I became aware of the ocean constantly moving and waves forming to break regularly onto the shore. I listened and each wave sounded slightly different - a regular irregularity
Maggie Mae dug up a treat - yuk and I found red seaweed - beautiful.
As we walked along the beach I could see people fishing in the distance and that became my goal, to walk to there and then turn around and come back to the car.
Listening to the sea I could hear the sounds of the "sand" as the waves broke and dragged smaller and smaller pebbles back rattling and rolling down towards the sea. Lake Ferry does not have sand, the shore line is marked by grey pebbles that are gradually worn into smaller and smaller bits, but always very coarse.
On our way back I stopped to use paint and brushes on site - something I have been wanting to do.
We walked back to the car further up the beach closer to the high tide mark and found such treasures as "ready-rusted" wire. And I wondered at the way the sea always creates such neat tidy piles of treasures that are dotted along at the high tide mark
And now we are home, Maggie Mae is resting, it is a long way on such short wee legs, and I am thinking about my ready-rusted wire and a collection of small treasures from Lake Ferry for tomorrow in the studio.
Before I began my 100 Days Project titled "Tide Marks" I had spent some time at Tahunanui Beach in Nelson. It was winter then, with beautiful calm, clear days and frosty mornings.
To capture my experience I took photographs and drew objects from the beach at home and wrote about what I could see, feel and hear. It was always the visual that captured me first - how the colours appeared bleached and washed out in the pale winter sun and when the tide was out the land, sand and the sea layered themselves out to the horizon.
And then I would hear the oyster catchers, hump backed as they called and cried and stalked around each other on the sand. I would become aware of the noise of the traffic on Rock's Road. It is a constant hum, a sound of movement and something I am not always aware of.
At the high tide mark there are always washed out collections of flotsam and jettison dropped onto the sand; seaweed, driftwood, plastic and nylon fishing line.
When I walked along the beach and closer to the sea I heard the gentle rush of sea as the waves broke onto the sand. It is the sound of constant movement.
The movement of the sea patterns the sand and leaves shells and small stones sitting on it's surface. I notice how the waves move in the sea closer and closer to breaking at the shore and as the lines move they get closer and closer to each other.
When I get home I got my photos printed and put them in my sketch book and simplify them as drawings I can use to make a series of black and white works that have become "Tide Marks" and my 100 Days Project.
It is great to have a purpose and a background for what I am doing and I am excited to see how my work is developing.