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Fish #111 Armed Bullhead Agonus cataphractus ~ Barbara Melling
Batik on Cotton 40 x 50 cm
'Choose me', called the Hooknose, Pogge or to use it's proper name Armed Bullhead, when I was searching the list for a fish to draw, so I did. Why? Because I enjoy the slight air of mystery it exudes, living on the sea bed and keeping secrets about it's habits. I like that it's body has limited flexibility due to the paired rows of hard, bony plates which cover it's breast, that it's snout has strong spiny hooks and many barbels beneath it's flattened head, and that they are not very big, usually only 10 to 15 cms. I use batik techniques (hot wax and dyes on fabric) and thought it might feel at home drawn onto a piece of cotton material, something about being comfortable as it's habitat is a sandy sea bed with no stones. You may meet one if you are lucky and dive in the coastal seas of the British Isles, Norway, the Faeroes or the North Sea, as they live at depths between 2 and 20 metres, but best to look in the Summer as their Winters are spent 270 metres down. If you do visit, take a gift of small crustaceans, molluscs, brittle stars and worms, but don't bother to wait for the babies to arrive, you'll be hanging around for 10 months or more.
I am a textile artist working mainly in batik techniques, using hot wax resist and dyes on fabric. I chose this fish because I love the shape and textures it has, with its covering of hard armour and its whiskers. I also like the slight air of mystery it has, living on the bottom of the sea bed and little being known of its habits.
I sell and exhibit my work and hold classes in textiles and pottery at The Old Forge Art Studio.
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