Peter Matthews

An Image Pulled from the Pacific Ocean

2015. Chinese calligraphy ink, oil based printing ink, earth and water from the Pacific Ocean on card. 52.5cm x 38.5cm. 14 prints in series, signed and numbered on verso.

Working in the wake of a typhoon Soudelor, which made landfall on the Pacific coast of Taiwan in 2015, two long days go by while sitting on a raft of washed-up flotsam and driftwood from places and times unknown. Upon finding flat pieces of wood within a mass of thousands brought in from the storm, i carve abstract shapes and lines and then make direct, hand pulled prints from the animism and history contained in the wood. There are no answers out there, only a multiple spectrum dynamic of opportunities and possibilities, an ambiguous and ever changing place and time where one action at any given time leads to something to then take further and explore. 

Exploring the mystical elements from randomly found inanimate objects by chance, the driftwood fragments, and making a simple subtractive process of image making to create a visual print of that object in flux while juxtaposing it with another printed image that has its own history which led it to this place on the beach, that narrative of overlaying objects that have never existed together before now. After the print has been taken, the driftwood printing block is taken out by the high tide to continue its journey once again upon the ocean currents, drifting out there now on the open ocean, or perhaps washed-up on another beach somewhere out-there in the universe.

A short video showing the printing on the raft of driftwood after the storm.