We played in the ocean, fished in it, swam in it: dived beneath the surface and were beaten by the waves. We knew the freedom of it; the terror of it. The way it could turn on you in a second and swallow you into its depths: hold you there until – if you’re lucky – it would throw you into the sunlight and air to breathe.
The sea was our home. It wore at cliffs and ground remnants of the world into sand. It offered treasures after storms and grew kina and crayfish fat. The sea forms the bones of my paintings: the roiling boundary between earth and sky. It is familiar visual imagery: the stuff I know.
These acrylic and mixed media artworks show snippets of New Zealand East Coast beaches. They are painted by Amiria Gale – me.
Beach paintings are the backdrop through which my story seeps. The sea washes away fallacy – leave you exposed to the core. They are what I return to, when other avenues of exploration have run dry.
There is a desire people have to snatch a piece of seascape, to hold it, momentarily, inside our living space, to hang the memory of it on our wall. At the heart of a busy city, there is solace, somehow, in knowing that a beach scene from childhood is captured in smears of acrylic and tiny layered brushwork: an illustration of freedom, whilst caught in the furious wheels of ordinary life.
New Zealand is surrounded by the sea. It is no surprise that the people here turn to coastal landscape artworks: latch onto them: a reminder of the waves that lap at their core.
The beach is what I know.
If you enjoyed this collection of work, you may also like to view my Shell Paintings.