I was really looking forward to our stay at Port Eynon, as once again I hadn’t visited the Gower in years and years and was really eager to explore and see what other things I could find. Admittedly, the view here was for me a lot more impressive. You’re met with vast expanse of sea and land and there’s something pretty humbling about being there. For me, this area better expressed that raw sublime power than at the Botanical Gardens where the artificial is paraded next to a sign that tells you what plant you’re looking at.
Being in Port Eynon and getting to enjoy staying there for a few days was really incredible. It was wonderful waking up right next to the sea and hearing it crash late at night, seeing the moon’s reflection on the water and really just spending the time taking it all in. I spent time doing some panoramic drawings on my first day which certainly show you your surroundings, but more importantly cropped up the issue of what you’re leaving out, and why. I like to be quite meticulous, and enjoy spending the time getting things just how I want them. That’s quite hard to do on a cliffside when it’s three degrees and you haven’t moved in two hours, but making notes and observing over the few days has given me a much better perspective on what it is I’d like to be documenting; what it is that I take from the landscape.
My view of the landscape is one shaped by the pieces it’s made up of – what you can see as a view in its entirety, but also what that view is made up of. We were tasked with completing a large scale landscape drawing with a small box in the centre of a ‘macro’ landscape. For example sitting at the beach and drawing the large sea view, or the beach with the rocks on it and cliffs in the distance, but in the central macro square would be a magnified drawing of the lichen on those rocks, or the marks made by the waves in the sand. You get the idea.
The pictures I had taken of the waves crashing into the rocks are something I think I will find it hard to recreate. I remember the deafening sound of the waves, the way the foam looked as it settled in the rock pools only to be bombarded again and again by more and more waves. That’s something I personally believe is hard to explain through drawings, especially given that we didn’t have the luxury of time. The still shots of the sea are beautiful though, and something that I think shows a certain texture. Obviously I can’t take rubbings from the sea, but the spray coming up and the different lines and shapes in the water is something I think could be really interesting to try and recreate. The sound and ferocity and power all coming together is something I don’t feel is tangible or can be harnessed in a simple way, if at all. Turner’s seascapes are fascinating and dream like, showing the light playing on the surface of the water, but I don’t think that’s what he was looking at. It’s something raw and powerful and sublime, something that makes you feel really quite small. I don’t know if there’s a way I could recreate what I saw and do it justice.
The video below is one I took when watching the sea, and as you can see it’s something pretty awe-inspiring. How could I possibly do this justice? And if you’ve ever seen the sea, and how it moves and behaves and how powerful it is when you get up close, then you’ll know what I mean.