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Fish #18 Basking Shark I Cetorhinus maximus ~ Bella Bee
43 X 60 cms Oil on paper
Fish #18 Basking Shark II Cetorhinus maximus ~ Bella Bee
43 X 60 cms Oil on paper
Basking Sharks are the second largest shark on the planet, yet they are passive feeders, which means they do not actively hunt. Instead, they glide near the surface of the water, mouth agape, filtering zooplankton from these precious few nutrient-rich inches. It is often in death they are perceived as more monstrous, decomposition leaving the lower jaws to drop away; giving the appearance of a long thin neck. No wonder this beast has been called sea-serpent, or even a relative of the Loch Ness Monster when their corpses are found washed up on shore.
The tale of the Stronsay beast is an example of this. Washed up on the high tide line, 25th September 1808, local men discovered the corpse, one saying it was unlike anything he had encountered before. Lying on the rocks were the remains of a large serpent-like creature, with a long, eel-like neck and three pairs of legs.
The beast was described as serpentine, measuring exactly 55 feet long, with a neck measuring ten feet three inches long. The head was like that of a sheep, with eyes bigger than a seal's. Its skin was grey and rough to the touch. However, if stroked from the head down the back, it was said to be as "smooth as velvet".
We still know very little about this gentle giant. They winter in the Caribbean or Florida at great depths, yet little is really known about this creature, even where they give birth is unknown.
Sadly, still hunted for their 'leather' and fins, basking shark numbers are at a dangerously low level.
About Bella Bee
Inspired by life experience and environment, Bella's work exhibits her strong sense of place and time, which she hopes to convey in her distinct narrative. Her semi abstract pieces invite the viewer to interpret what they see with their own story.
Fine Art at Bath and Printmaking at Wiltshire College have been her main body of study with a return to ceramics in a private studio in Frome with work exhibited in various galleries including The Officers' Club, Bath; The Paintworks Bristol and MOMA Wales. Starting out as an oil painter, but working most recently in printmaking, namely collagraph, Bella finds herself beguiled by landscapes both literal and emotional. This is her conversation with it.
"I believe it is the job of an artist to open a dialogue with the viewer; to depict the scene not as a photograph, but as an idea or thought. It doesn't have to be a strong or powerful image, but it does need to have some quality which describes some human interaction. I hope that in printmaking I have achieved this"
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