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'Gone Fishing' - No. 9

Artist: Michael Smither

Up Coming Exhibition

Artist Michael D Smither
Original 2015
Media: Oil and Alkyd on Canvas
Description: Gone Fishing Collection
Size 750 x 750mm

Enquires:  Christine Rabarts

'Gone Fishing'

Primarily this show of paintings I call "Gone Fishing" celebrates a life time of fascination with boats. Boats not ships. Boats used to be made in wood, dragged down to the harbour and moored to some heavy object on the sea-floor where they stayed till they rotted, or the weed grew so thick on their hulls that they sunk in a northerly storm. They had a real organic life of their own. I always wanted a boat but never got any closer than a half share in a dingy. Boats therefore represent a desire of ownership and freedom to explore the ocean in some sort of individual heaven as captain.

I'm not talking about fizz boats or plastic fantasies. Recently on television, in a fish cooking programme I saw a simple shot of moored boats on the bright Bosporus Sea, and recognised the origins of the profiles of the sort of boats I'm talking about, no nonsense modest working boats, the designs of which have existed for yonks. The sort of boats I've loved to draw and paint. When I came to live at Otama I made many such drawings and paintings in the Whitianga Harbour. Prior to that I lived in Auckland and based my boat paintings on the view from Hammerheads Restaurant in Okahu Bay.

The subtle thing that happened over all this time is I began to create a marine fantasy imbued with the colours of my imagining, arranged in such a way that the shapes in between became just as important as the real. Recently I turned out a composition that I realised was so complete that any aspect of it worked just as well in isolation from the rest. This experience I realised was based on the reality of the impermanence of everything. I could send off any boat from this fantasy harbour, send it out to the ocean of oblivion and what remained still existed. I tried this with every boat in the harbour and began to come up with these various compositions.

Where had these boats gone? "Gone Fishing". As I go fishing every time I begin a new composition and new painting, never knowing what I'll catch.

Michael D Smither 21-12-2015