Paper boat flotilla

So last week I promised to make a boat.

I thought I might make a papier mâche boat, as I enjoyed using papier mâche to create the landscape in my ‘Landscape Hamper’.
I did have a fancy, for a moment only, that I might try and create a boat book and bind it to create a 3-D boat book, perhaps combine both ideas by making papier mâche covers.
Luckily my rational head shouted me down quickly. This would be too complex to do in a week (especially with a trip to Tate Library & the London Art BookFair at The Whitechapel) to squeeze in!
How to create a quick frame/template for my boat?…
Not sure how it came to mind, but no doubt, some googling was involved…I remembered making paper boats as a child.
So I began playing with some scrap paper.
I remembered you have to make a paper hat and turn it inside out.
Nice and easy, e voilà un bateaux!

Now to arrange the resulting different sized paper boats. I thought they may look rather interesting on a mirror. This would reflect the underside of the boats but also symbolise a placid sea.


The idea remains to place this new type of landscape within a suitcase, as a symbol of travelling, migrating, of a personal journey.

I used images of old maps and prints of Madeira, the place of my birth, to create the paper boats. Fishing boats, sailing ships, cruise liners are all such a huge part of Madeira’s rich maritime history. The humble paper boat evokes both this maritime history and childhood; my childhood.
Whilst trying to display work at college, and not being able to find a mirror, I came across a piece of tatty blackboard. This seemed a good substitute, and I liked the old bits of chalk still left on it.
I had painted some rough, watery, almost misty mountains as a backdrop.
The effect of all three elements, misty mountains, paper map boats and chalky black sea together were very pleasing.

Within 24 hours I’d transformed one of the elements… What if I used slate rather than blackboard??
Slate, often blue black, occasionally greeny black, the perfect deep, deep, dark ocean.
A quick mental scan of my huge inventory of possible art materials later, I rediscovered a bucket of slate pieces in my shed!! And a large jar of soft chalkstone pieces too. Excellent, if only I’d remembered during that first sea/pebble project.

I particularly love the piece in the photo above which looks like waves lapping.
I shall now explore introducing some of my own writing on the subject of my split cultural identity into these different physical elements. I shall stick with my own photographs of sky for the inside lid of the case too.
Perhaps words might float around the edges of clouds, or be incorporated into the maps or be chalked up onto the black slatey sea…watch this space!



Filed under Photographs, Reflections, Sketchbook

4 responses to “Paper boat flotilla

  1. Chris

    I love it! The slate works really well. Definitely looks like the tiny lapping waves you get on very shallow beaches! Looking forward to seeing the addition of typography…


  2. beautiful, excellent, you don’t need words and sky, s’great as it is. Pete


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