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Fishing unlocks memories

Artist Rod Hague, the subject of my book Contrasts, has chosen his painting Fishing Smack as the subject of his first piece for our Blog. A tribute, perhaps, to the fishermen of our island...

"This painting, Fishing Smack demonstrates the influences, as with many of my paintings, of deeply imprinted personal experiences.

It recalls visiting my paternal grandparents in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. They lived in Lowestoft, which is the most easterly point in the British Isles, then a busy working port.

The colours and textures primarily represent the fishing trawlers and the light reflecting in, and on, the sea. Exposure to the coastal elements, particularly the salt water, creates an interesting effect over time on the surface of all parts of the trawlers and other seagoing vessels, including the cabins and winches. There is a combination of rust and paint, with the rust showing to greater or lesser degree through the many layers of paint.

These colours and effects unlock memories for me, including my grandfather's smokehouse which was a small building in the town. Herrings and haddock were hung on racks inside the smokehouse which was completely black on the inside due to the many years of smoking and, in stark contrast, from out of the darkness the light glinted off the golden skin of the freshly smoked fish.

This painting is an unusual departure for me in as much it is marine influenced, unlike the majority of my other work.

Fishing Smack was produced in 2013."


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