Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kelp motif

Last November I had the opportunity to visit Saturna, one of Canada's beautiful gulf islands off the coast of BC. While beach coming (that's what people do in BC) I came across this most amazing entity, at first I thought it was a dead creature washed ashore - but it is only a plant washed ashore .
At the time I blogged about it here.

I have since spent a lot of time getting to know the Bull Kelp that is unique to the pacific west coast. Among biologists it is known as Nereocystis luetkeana. What look like long elegant leaves are blades and what looks like a root ball is really a bladder filled was gas that lifts the blades up from the bottom of the ocean to reach sunlight. The long pole like tube that extends from the bladder is called a stipe. It is attached to a net like extension that wraps itself around a rock on the ocean floor. These plants grow in abundance off shore and get washed up during storms.

So here is the first of a lot of bull kelp motifs that I will be exploring this new year. This one was done using a felting machine and different coloured cloths on a canvas ground. I am now ready to do some hand stitching.


Michele said...

This is awesome! I love that you're taking inspiration from something seemingly so simple, but actually so fascinating, and turning it into art.

arlee said...

When i moved from Ontario to BC, my first sight of one of these totally freaked me--there ain't nothin' like that in the Great Lakes :}
It's wonderful that your sensitive drawing treatment could make one so beautiful!