August 29th, Old Felixstowe, Conditions: overcast with heavy rain clearing later, tide 3.70m at 14.06
A rare and unexpected rainy day this summer. I decided to head down to Old Felixstowe regardless, snatching an opportunity to spend some time thinking about our next beach day.
Parking at Felixstowe Ferry, I cut through the sailing club and found the high tide lapping at the concrete defences. Feeling a sudden claustrophobia from the closeness of water and lack of shoreline I walked along the coastpath towards the Martello Tower, camera protected under rain-gear and sketchbook tucked away in my bag. I was down here to study the seaweed of the artificial coastline and think about ways we could understand these communities through an art process. The scientific process of a belt transect interested me, perhaps the idea of using a quadrant to map the species and identify the zonation and also as a viewfinder for drawing.
Or should we focus on the Victorian seaweed collectors, mainly women shunned by male dominated scientific societies. Seaweed collection was for serious scientific study as well as an artform. I collected a few detached fronds to press back in the studio. thinking about the prints of Henry Bradbury. Could this translate into printing, would I be able to print directly from the seaweed or would I have to preserve or process it in some way beforehand.
Just as I was thinking my trip was wasted the tide started to recede, the groynes gradually revealing the communities of seaweed living upon them: a living wall.