Time and Tide Bell ~ #200Fish

A Continuing Arts Programme facing Lincolnshire's Coast

#200Fish is a community project to create works of art based on each of the species of fish found in the North Sea

To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.

Fish #206 Turbot Scophthalmus maximus ~ Helen Grove-White

Digital drawing

For Sale


The Emperor's Fish: Juvenal

Cum iam semianimum laceraret Flauius orbem ultimus incidit Hadriaci spatium admirabile rhombi impleuitque sinus; ...

Back when the last Flavian was ripping up a half-dead world the marvellous expanse of an Adriatic turbot appeared, and filled the nets; ...

A wondrous fish found in the North Sea, Adriatic, Mediterranean and Black sea and going under a number of different names. As bottom feeders, turbot are camouflaged so as to be almost invisible on the sea bed and they live off sand-eels, gobies, crustaceans and bivalves as well as small fish. They have no scales but bony plates with small spines. They reach full size after 10-16 years, up to 1m length and 25kg weight. They may live to 25 years.
Turbot are excellent fish to cook and eat but their relatively low ratio of available food to body weight has made them less economic than other farmed fish. The price of filleted turbot can seem prohibitively expensive owing to the large proportion of bone discarded.
Turbot belong to the family of Bothiedae, which includes both Brill and Atlantic and Black Turbot. It also belongs to the family Paralichthyidae which, having both eyes on the left side, lies on its right side on the sea bed. This contrasts with Plaice, Soles and Flounders who lie on their left side and have eyes on the right. Since our standard picture book view of them is from the top we may observe that Turbot appear to swim to our left and Plaice swim to our right.
Paralichthyidae are initially symmetrical at hatching, after a couple of weeks, the right eye moves to the left side to take up its new position. This gives rise to current debates challenging Darwinian theories of evolution.

Fish #206 Turbot Scophthalmus maximus ~ Katie Blair

Etching and chine colle print 23 x 28 cm


My 'Turbot II' print is made using etching, aquatint and chine colle techniques. First a zinc etching plate is created by drawing into the wax covered plate and then putting in acid to 'bite' the drawn line. After that tones are added in several stages by applying a resin powder and then blocking out the palest areas and putting briefly into the acid. The image is built up in this way. This results in a plate that can then be inked up and used to make a print. If printed using black ink, the image is black and white with tonal areas of different greys. Chine colle is applied during the printing process by using other papers to provide colour and/or texture, which are adhered to the main paper by layering them on the inked plate and allowing the pressure of the press to apply them to the main paper. In my print, I have used coloured tissue paper and text fragments from a 1950s journal article about North Sea fishing. This means that each print is unique.

Why did I do my 'Turbot II' print? When I was a girl, I spent a lot of my time with my Dad. Sometimes we would go sea fishing and sometimes we went for long walks, usually in the wilder areas of the Lincolnshire coast, to look at birds. Places I remember walking are the marshes at Tetney, Donna Nook and Anthony's Bank at Cleethorpes. We had an Observer's book of sea fish and I always liked the strange looking fish, especially the flatfish. I would love to watch them burying themselves in the muddy sand at the waters edge. I wanted to create an image that reminded me of those memories.

Previous Fish Next Fish

Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941