Ian Harrold | Strands | A Breton beach

The littoral, the space between the tides. A place to walk, to wander and to gaze upon the ocean. Lost in thought as the sand gives way beneath the feet, pools of salt water flow around the toes.

Here we see the flotsam and jetsam of twelve of our hours deposited as if for our appraisal, as the tide recedes, lapping back and forth organic material along with our discards are left.

But before each character finally comes to rest it has a final gesture, a flourish. Its mark upon the sand remains, waiting for the tide to return to write a new story on the strand line. Shot in 'the golden hour' in the last heat of the sun. The black deposits in the sand might be manganese, iron or other heavy minerals.

I have begun to build an 'ocean tank' to attempt to simulate the interaction of the components found on the beach. Initially large steel plates will be etched. Work in progress.

Ian Harrold | Stone | Millennia in the Making 

I return time and time again to the same shores, both nearby in North Cornwall and further afield on the coast of Brittany, photographing the rocks along the strand line.

One could make drawings of the rocks, stones, and marine life and them produce paintings to resemble the images seen here. But during countless visits to these beaches I came to realise that it was not simply the beauty of the formations as we see them now that interested me. The geology behind these forms has been at work for millennia, laying down sediment, compressing the rock, folding, fracturing. Then hard quartz and other minerals have been forced upwards, along the weaknesses and fissures lying at angles to the beds. The layers of rock may then have undergone more movement, more disruption, cracking and folding creating new lines of weakness. These, in turn, were injected with crystalline material which slowly cooled over thousands of years. Finally the action of the ocean took its turn to find new opportunities to sculpt the rocks to create the forms we now see.

For me, this describes the ideal creative process, which in a way I attempt to mimic in my working practices. Clearly it is impossible to harness the powers of nature but it is the idea that what we see here is 'consequential' that interests me. That is, whatever remains visible to us is as a result of an action - a process. The results of the earths powers are not contrived, there was no grand design at the outset, no plan. This, I strive for in my creative output. Process is all, barely in control and seeking to make interventions only where invitations appear.

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