statement of work

About the process of using retired local Longline Fishing Gear in the work:
After months of experimentation with the different types of line and their properties, I learned my favorite to work with was Longline, which is quite abundant when collected directly from the fisherman after it becomes too worn for them to use. The local longline only comes in basic natural rope tones (except for the gangions, which is the thinner line through which the hook and bait are attached to the main line), so I decided to begin dying the line.

By the looped end where the hook once was, the color fluctuates and becomes a burnt orange. This is a natural discoloration created by rusting. I un-knot each hook so the gangion loop is undisturbed. After I wash and dye the line, much of the rust mottling remains. I use fabric dyes to process the color, and some of the line I leave half in the vats of dye to create color fluctuations, while I wrap some in balls before dying, to keep certain spots devoid of color and others extra saturated.

After the line is dry, and sorted, I choose which taxidermy form I will be using and begin to map out the fur pattern. The pieces which have a cutaway at the neckline are mapped to be highly anatomically correct. For this I use MRI images from veterinary manuals as a guide. The line is then cut to length and adhered with high temperature glue.

This work represents many things to me: the reuse of fishing gear that would otherwise go to a landfill; helping raise awareness of the plight of our oceans, now increasingly filled with discarded gear which entangles marine life. Lastly, it’s an enormously abundant resource here on Cape Cod where I live and work. It’s the way of life here, and creating art from it is a way to honor that. I work closely with The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance in Chatham, Massachusetts for procurement of previously fished and retired longline gear for my work.

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Marine Debris Work Narrative:
This body of work represents many things to me:  the reuse of fishing gear that would otherwise go to a landfill; helping raise awareness of the plight of our oceans, now increasingly filled with discarded gear which entangles marine life. Lastly, it’s an enormously abundant resource here on Cape Cod where I live and work.  It’s the way of life here, and creating art from it is a way to honor that.

I like to imagine all that this line has seen and done, and the moments its experienced – used by fishermen for their livelihood; off George’s Bank, it bore witness as Humpback whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, and sea turtles float by. And of course this line dutifully fed people when retrieved from the ocean. It wasn’t discarded there, and it never entangled any creatures. And now, I give it a new life it otherwise never would have had. It continues on in its next life, and serves as my livelihood. The fishing gear has become art.

 

Some extra information:
I work closely with The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance in Chatham, line2Massachusetts for procurement of previously fished and retired longline gear for my work. Longline fishing is a commercial fishing technique. It uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of branch lines called gangions. A gangion is a short length of line, attached to the main line using a clip or swivel, with the hook at the other end.