Memory and the Tideline, 2001

Memory and the Tideline, 2001 2017-02-02T13:34:54+00:00

Project Description

This was a commission for the new flood defence walls for Poole Town Quay and was an initiative of Poole Council with the blessing of the Environment Agency. The walls were constructed to prevent any wash from storm action overflowing the wall and running down into the town, consequently the wall is of a modest domestic scale inviting itself to be seen as an enhancement of the social environment. With this in mind I devised a series of 14 bas relief carved granite piercaps for each of the pedestrian and vehicular access points to the quay.

The brief was that I should reflect upon the identity and history of Poole. The approach I took was to suggest that in a marine environment, memory is what is left behind on the tideline after the ebb. I thought of events which could be seen to have left their trace on the shore and these were as various as the rise and fall of the fishing industry to the D Day landings on Omaha beach by American troops who embarked at Poole or the Dunkirk retrieval of troops by local boats. For each story there is a signifier; I was reluctant to tell a straight narrative, preferring to engage curiosity. Baden Powell held his first scout camp on Brownsea Island, as a reward he gave each participant a brass fleur de lys cast from his own carving. Curiously none of the badges survived the journey ashore. I suggest that they may be there in the sand amongst the seaweed waiting to be rediscovered. Smiling through is the name of a Poole harbour tender used during the second world war, in it is trapped all the familiar seaside flotsam.

The aim was that this would be an extremely intimate group of works; everything is 1/1 scale and I have used as great a range of finish and texture as possible to encourage touch.

Link to designs and drawings from this commission