February 18, 2020

Have you thought about the little creatures that live out of sight, those you don’t eat, and did you know they were so important?

Dianne Ross, 58

This painting is a diptych of sandeels shoaling in warm shallow sandy water, a common sight in the summertime when I was a child but now are rarely seen. Although very visible and close when paddling, if you tried to get amongst them, like mirages, they were always able to change direction en-mass and flit out of reach. These small fish in their in their vast shoals were/are the mainstay in the marine food chain, feeding larger fish and sea birds in a healthy sea. Now, due to over fishing to provide fertiliser, animal feed and in some countries, used to fuel power stations, it is rare to see shoals of sandeels skirting the shore in the shallows of a sandy bay, the lack of them, a ‘litmus test’ highlighting the critically unhealthy state of the sea and the inevitable starvation of the sea creatures and birds, which depend on this precious fish for survival. This diptych is painted in reverence of these little creatures.

Sandeels, 2019Oil on canvas320cm x 43cm