There are about 200 species of fish native to the North Sea. This project records their existence through works of art. Mindful of the threats to the marine environment, global warming, ocean acidification, pollution, over-fishing and so on, we invited a large number of artists each to pick one of the fish species and produce a painting, sculpture or other art-work therefrom.
After the major exhibition of some two hundred works, at the new North Sea Observatory, we intend to take at least parts of the exhibition on tour to other venues in coastal Lincolnshire and then, perhaps, further afield. The first outing for #200Fish on the Road takes place at North Somercotes Village hall over the first weekend in March 2019.
The exhibition surpassed all our expectations. The number of visitors was overwhelming; without an exact count we estimated attendance, by two independent methods. We sample counted representative time periods and extrapolated to the whole 12 days and we looked at the café's drink sales numbers. Both approaches produced a figure of about 5000.
Our prime objectives were to raise awareness of the biodiversity of the North Sea and the threats that pollution and global warming give rise to. That was achieved in the minds of a large number of people, so counts as the exhibitions main success.
We also brought art of merit to a new location while giving the opportunity for amateurs to exhibit their work alongside. While about half the works on show were from Lincolnshire artists, we had contributions from further afield, from Cornwall to Sutherland and several from overseas, from Europe, America, Africa and Asia. The exhibition brought artists and their relatives from all corners of Britain to visit the exhibition. One German artist, who lives in Shanghai, made a diversion en-route to Berlin to bring his work, another posted their piece from Germany and then visited the gallery in person.
The book we published to accompany the exhibition has drawn much praise and the print-run of 200 copies has almost sold out, as has the 300 print of the catalogue, which was also produced in full colour, illustrating almost all the works. There are still a few books left for sale: Buy Here
Selling art was not one of our prime objectives but about 20% of the works were sold, paying some artists for their work. We have a policy of not charging commission on sales. Thanks however to the generosity of the many artists who donated their work, we raised about £2000 for our funds. We also gave a space for a local 13 year old to sell the cards that she made, giving a significant boost to her mini-enterprise.
There was one visitor who complained that the window frames of the gallery interrupted the wide view of the seascape but it was suggested that he could step outside onto the decking and enjoy the horizon. That said, there was universal admiration for the building and general surprise that such a magnificent facility had been provided on the Lincolnshire coast. It is clear that the North Sea Observatory will become one of the county's significant visitor attractions. There is no doubt that the exhibition's success owes a great deal to the venue. Some people came to see the building and accidentally found themselves in an art gallery. That was deliberate.
We wanted to bring art to new audiences, showing works of merit to people who may not often visit art galleries. We wanted to give a platform to amateurs to show their work alongside that of established and professional artists. We wanted to encourage new people to take up art creation. And we wanted to use art as a tool for environmental campaigning, in this instance to raise awareness of marine biodiversity, that were over 200 species of fish in the North Sea.
We ticked all the boxes. Thank you to all who helped make that possible.
The #200Fish were exhibited at the North Sea Observatory Art Space from 23rd August to 3rd September 2018. The project will live on beyond this exhibition, popping up at various venues and times in the future. As some works get sold others will be needed to fill the gaps so if you fancy creating a work of art based on one of the North Sea fish species then please do join in.
If you would like to get involved here's what to do:
Inclusion in the exhibition of worthy works is free and we make no judgements on artistic merit, preferring to trust the judgement of the artists. Our website in indefinitely extendable. Everybody's images of their artwork and their writing will be included. And we'll include your biography and links to your website if you wish.
F.A.Q. Do I have to be an actual artist?
We are all artists. It's what distinguishes humans from other creatures. Never mind tool-using; monkeys and crows do that. But no other species deliberately paints pictures or models sculptures and we've been doing it forever.
Do I have to be an professional artist?
No. This project is open to all, from acclaimed artists to folk just having a dabble and wanting an opportunity to show something they've created and are rightly proud of.
To get involved with #200Fish, Send us an email telling us about your choice of fish
So get on, pick your fish, paint your picture!
The list is derived from Wikipedia's List of North Sea Fish. This webpage contains or has links to a wealth of information about each fish, and importantly for our purposes, what they look like.
FishBase is a great resource for learning about each fish.
Published in 1993, and some of the fish have moved on, but the North Sea Atlas still has some useful information. Download it here.
By far the largest collection of fish related data is managed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Start here.
Another good source is The Marine Life information Network (MARLIN)
The Food and Agriculture Organisation has a lot of infomation here.
For the most authoritative account of fishy politics in the North Sea go to this EU fisheries policy document.
The Shark Trust has lots of good information about the sharks, skates and rays. That's numbers 4 to 43 in the list.
The report from BIOACID - Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification Exploring Ocean Change is available here. Giving urgency to our efforts.
To see pictures of completed artworks click on the word 'Picture' in the list below.
A big thankyou to everyone who has already picked a fish and helped spread the word about this project. And thanks to Radio Lincolnshire who got hold of the idea. Here's the BBC's online report.
To see pictures of completed artworks click on the word 'Picture' in the list below.
|1||Myxine glutinosa||Atlantic hagfish||Picture|
|2||Lampetra fluviatilis||European river lamprey||Picture|
|3||Petromyzon marinus||Sea lamprey||Picture|
|4||Chimaera monstrosa||Rabbit fish||Picture|
|5||Centroscymnus coelolepis||Portuguese dogfish||This fish needs an artist|
|6||Centroselachus crepidater||Longnose velvet dogfish||Picture|
|7||Somniosus microcephalus||Greenland shark||Picture|
|8||Centrophorus squamosus||Leafscale gulper shark||This fish needs an artist|
|9||Deania calcea||Birdbeak dogfish||Picture|
|10||Dalatias licha||Kitefin shark||Picture|
|11||Echinorhinus brucus||Bramble shark||Picture|
|12||Etmopterus princeps||Great lanternshark||Picture|
|13||Etmopterus spinax||Velvet belly lanternshark||Picture|
|14||Squalus acanthias||Spiny dogfish||This fish needs an artist|
|16||Hexanchus griseus||Bluntnose sixgill shark||Picture|
|17||Alopias vulpinus||Common thresher||This fish needs an artist|
|18||Cetorhinus maximus||Basking shark||Picture|
|20||Galeorhinus galeus||School shark||Picture|
|21||Prionace glauca||Blue shark||Picture|
|22||Mustelus asterias||Starry smooth-hound||This fish needs an artist|
|23||Mustelus mustelus||Common smooth-hound||Picture|
|24||Galeus melastomus||Blackmouth catshark||Picture|
|25||Scyliorhinus canicula||Small-spotted catshark||Picture|
|27||Torpedo marmorata||Marbled electric ray||This fish needs an artist|
|28||Torpedo nobiliana||Atlantic torpedo||Picture|
|29||Amblyraja radiata||Thorny skate||This fish needs an artist|
|30||Leucoraja circularis||Sandy ray||Picture|
|31||Leucoraja fullonica||Shagreen ray||Picture|
|32||Leucoraja naevus||Cuckoo Ray||Picture|
|33||Raja brachyura||Blonde ray||This fish needs an artist|
|34||Raja clavata||Thornback ray||Picture|
|35||Raja montagui||Spotted ray||Picture|
|36||Rajella fyllae||Round ray||Picture|
|37||Dasyatis pastinaca||Common stingray||Picture|
|38||Dipturus batis||Common skate||Picture|
|39||Dipturus linteus||Sailray||This fish needs an artist|
|40||Dipturus nidarosiensis||Norwegian skate||This fish needs an artist|
|41||Dipturus oxyrinchus||Longnosed skate||Picture|
|42||Pteroplatytrygon violacea||Pelagic stingray||Picture|
|43||Myliobatis aquila||Common Eagle Ray||Picture|
|44||Acipenser sturio||European sea sturgeon||Picture|
|45||Anguilla anguilla||European eel||Picture|
|46||Conger conger||European conger||Picture|
|47||Nemichthys scolopaceus||Slender snipe eeld||Picture|
|48||Alosa alosa||Allis shad||This fish needs an artist|
|49||Alosa fallax||Twait shad||Picture|
|50||Clupea harengus||Atlantic herring||Picture|
|51||Engraulis encrasicolus||European anchovy||Picture|
|52||Sardina pilchardus||European pilchard||Picture|
|53||Sprattus sprattus||European sprat||Picture|
|54||Argentina silus||Greater argentine||Picture|
|57||Salmo salar||Atlantic salmon||Picture|
|58||Salmo trutta||Brown trout||Picture|
|59||Salvelinus alpinus||Arctic char||Picture|
|60||Osmerus eperlanus||European smelt||Picture|
|62||Argyropelecus olfersii||Silver hatchetfish||Picture|
|63||Maurolicus muelleri||Mueller's pearlside||This fish needs an artist|
|64||Arctozenus risso||Spotted barracudina||Picture|
|65||Paralepis coregonoides||Sharpchin barracudina||This fish needs an artist|
|66||Benthosema glaciale||Glacier lantern fish||Picture|
|67||Myctophum punctatum||Spotted lanternfish||Picture|
|68||Gadiculus argenteus||Silvery pout||This fish needs an artist|
|69||Gadus morhua||Atlantic cod||Picture|
|72||Micromesistius poutassou||Blue whiting||Picture|
|75||Raniceps raninus||Tadpole fish||Picture|
|76||Trisopterus esmarkii||Norway Pout||This fish needs an artist|
|78||Trisopterus minutus||Poor cod||Picture|
|80||Ciliata mustela||Fivebeard rockling||This fish needs an artist|
|81||Ciliata septentrionalis||Northern rockling||Picture|
|82||Enchelyopus cimbrius||Fourbeard rockling||Picture|
|83||Gaidropsarus mediterraneus||Shore rockling||Picture|
|84||Gaidropsarus vulgaris||Three-bearded rockling||Picture|
|85||Molva dypterygia||Blue ling||Picture|
|86||Molva molva||Common ling||This fish needs an artist|
|87||Coryphaenoides rupestris||Roundnose grenadier||Picture|
|88||Merluccius merluccius||European hake||Picture|
|89||Phycis blennoides||Greater forkbeard||Picture|
|91||Regalecus glesne||Giant Oarfish||Picture|
|93||Lophius budegassa||Blackbellied angler||Picture|
|94||Lophius piscatorius||Sea-devil||This fish needs an artist|
|95||Atherina boyeri||Big-scale sand smelt||Picture|
|96||Atherina presbyter||Sand smelt||This fish needs an artist|
|97||Belone belone||Garfish||This fish needs an artist|
|98||Scomberesox saurus||Atlantic saury||Picture|
|99||Cheilopogon heterurus||Mediterranean flyingfish||Picture|
|100||Gasterosteus aculeatus||Three-spined stickleback||Picture|
|101||Spinachia spinachia||Fifteenspine stickleback||Picture|
|102||Macroramphosus scolopax||Longspine snipefish||Picture|
|103||Entelurus aequoreus||Snake pipefish||Picture|
|104||Nerophis lumbriciformis||Worm pipefish||Picture|
|105||Nerophis ophidion||Straightnose pipefish||Picture|
|106||Syngnathus acus||Greater pipefish||This fish needs an artist|
|107||Syngnathus rostellatus||Lesser pipefish||Picture|
|108||Syngnathus typhle||Broadnosed pipefish||Picture|
|109||Hippocampus hippocampus||Short-snouted seahorse||Picture|
|110||Aspius aspius||Asp||This fish needs an artist|
|111||Agonus cataphractus||Armed Bullhead||Picture|
|112||Artediellus atlanticus||Atlantic hookear sculpin||Picture|
|113||Icelus bicornis||Twohorn sculpin||Picture|
|114||Taurulus bubalis||Longspined sea-scorpion||This fish needs an artist|
|115||Micrenophrys lilljeborgii||Norway bullhead||Picture|
|116||Myoxocephalus scorpius||Shorthorn sculpin||Picture|
|118||Aspitrigla cuculus||Red gurnard||Pictures|
|119||Chelidonichthys lucerna||Tub gurnard||Pictures|
|120||Eutrigla gurnardus||Grey gurnard||Pictures|
|121||Trigla lyra||Piper gurnard||Picture|
|122||Trigloporus lastoviza||Streaked gurnard||Pictures|
|123||Careproctus reinhardti||Sea tadpole||Pictures|
|124||Liparis liparis||Common seasnail||Pictures|
|125||Liparis montagui||Montagu's seasnail||Picture|
|126||Helicolenus dactylopterus||Blackbelly rosefish||Picture|
|127||Sebastes mentella||Deepwater redfish||Picture|
|128||Sebastes norvegicus||Golden redfish||This fish needs an artist|
|129||Sebastes viviparus||Norway redfish||Picture|
|130||Triglops murrayi||Moustache sculpin||Picture|
|131||Chelon labrosus||Thicklip grey mullet||Picture|
|132||Liza aurata||Golden grey mullet||Picture|
|133||Liza ramada||Thinlip mullet||Picture|
|135||Taractes asper||Rough pomfret||Picture|
|136||Pterycombus brama||Atlantic fanfish||Picture|
|137||Dicentrarchus labrax||European seabass||Picture|
|138||Mullus barbatus||Red mullet||Picture|
|139||Mullus surmuletus||Striped red mullet||Picture|
|142||Dentex maroccanus||Morocco dentex||Picture|
|143||Pagellus acarne||Axillary seabream||Picture|
|144||Pagellus bogaraveo||Blackspot seabream||This fish needs an artist|
|145||Pagellus erythrinus||Common pandora||Picture|
|146||Sarpa salpa||Salema porgy||This fish needs an artist|
|147||Sparus aurata||Gilt-head bream||Picture|
|148||Spondyliosoma cantharus||Black seabream||Picture|
|149||Remora remora||Common remora||Picture|
|150||Naucrates ductor||Pilot fish||Picture|
|152||Trachurus trachurus||Atlantic horse mackerel||Picture|
|153||Aphia minuta||Transparent goby||This fish needs an artist|
|154||Buenia jeffreysii||Jeffrey's goby||This fish needs an artist|
|155||Crystallogobius linearis||Crystal goby||This fish needs an artist|
|156||Gobius niger||Black goby||Picture|
|157||Gobiusculus flavescens||Two-spotted goby||Picture|
|158||Lesueurigobius friesii||Fries's goby||Picture|
|159||Neogobius melanostomus||Round goby||Picture|
|160||Pomatoschistus lozanoi||Lozano's goby||This fish needs an artist|
|161||Pomatoschistus microps||Common goby||Picture|
|162||Pomatoschistus minutus||Sand goby||Picture|
|163||Pomatoschistus pictus||Painted goby||Picture|
|164||Thorogobius ephippiatus||Leopard-spotted goby||Picture|
|166||Chirolophis ascanii||Yarrell's blenny||Picture|
|167||Leptoclinus maculatus||Daubed shanny||This fish needs an artist|
|169||Pholis gunnellus||Rock gunnel||This fish needs an artist|
|170||Lycodes vahlii||Vahl's eelpout||Pictures|
|171||Zoarces viviparus||Viviparous eelpout||Pictures|
|172||Callionymus lyra||Common dragonet||Pictures|
|173||Callionymus maculatus||Spotted dragonet||Pictures|
|174||Callionymus reticulatus||Reticulated dragonet||Picture|
|175||Centrolabrus exoletus||Rock cook||Picture|
|176||Coris julis||Mediterranean rainbow wrasse||Picture|
|177||Ctenolabrus rupestris||Goldsinny wrasse||Picture|
|178||Labrus bergylta||Ballan wrasse||Picture|
|179||Labrus mixtus||Cuckoo wrasse||Picture|
|180||Symphodus melops||Corkwing wrasse||Picture|
|181||Euthynnus alletteratus||Little tunny||This fish needs an artist|
|182||Katsuwonus pelamis||Skipjack tuna||Picture|
|183||Orcynopsis unicolor||Plain bonito||Picture|
|184||Sarda sarda||Atlantic bonito||Picture|
|185||Scomber scombrus||Atlantic mackerel||Picture|
|186||Thunnus thynnus||Atlantic bluefin tuna||Picture|
|188||Ammodytes marinus||Raitt's sand eel||This fish needs an artist|
|189||Ammodytes tobianus||Small sandeel||Picture|
|190||Gymnammodytes semisquamatus||Smooth sandeel||Picture|
|191||Hyperoplus immaculatus||Greater sand-eel||Picture|
|192||Hyperoplus lanceolatus||Great sandeel||Picture|
|193||Anarhichas lupus||Atlantic wolffish||Picture|
|194||Echiichthys vipera||Lesser weever||Picture|
|195||Trachinus draco||Greater weever||Picture|
|196||Arnoglossus laterna||Mediterranean scaldfish||Picture|
|198||Hippoglossoides platessoides||American plaice||This fish needs an artist|
|199||ippoglossus hippoglossus||Atlantic halibut||Picture|
|200||Limanda limanda||Common dab||Picture|
|201||Microstomus kitt||Lemon sole||Picture|
|202||Platichthys flesus||European flounder||Picture|
|203||Pleuronectes platessa||European plaice||Picture|
|205||Phrynorhombus norvegicus||Norwegian topknot||Picture|
|207||Scophthalmus rhombus||Brill||This fish needs an artist|
|210||Microchirus variegatus||Thickback sole||Picture|
|211||Solea solea||Common sole||Picture|
|212||Mola mola||Ocean sunfish||Picture|
|213||Ranzania laevis||Slender sunfish||Picture|
|215||Capros aper||Boar fish||This fish needs an artist|
|216||Zeus faber||John Dory||Picture|
|Number of fish chosen:||218|
|Number of fish Artworks completed:||211|
And do try to get to know your fish. As well as the obvious online sources such as Wikipedia and Google Images, try this remarkable database of all things fishy: FishBase
On the basis that a thousand words are worth a picture, we invite artists to include writing, documentary, prose, poetry or whatever, with their art-work.
The exhibition will feature the written word more extensively than often found on labels in art galleries.
The exhibition catalogue could be a good read - but that's up to you, the artists.
Please give a description of your fish. Start with some basic scientifically accurate facts such as where the fish lives, geographic spread and depth in the sea, how big it gets, what it eats, what eats it, commercial and conservation status. Then move on to something a bit more creative. You might be able to say something about the origin of its name, appearances in folklore and literature or perhaps it has been painted by others. You might like to describe your own relationship with the fish, why you picked it and any other points of interest. Be as creative as you like. Write a poem if that's your thing. It's entirely up to you.
We intend to convert the 200 webpages, each with an image and a piece of writing by you, the artist, into a book. It will be about 200 pages long, in colour, and will have about 200 authors. So when you are doing your writing you might bear in mind that we will need to have a version that is about half a page long.
After the Season (detail) ~ Marta Sienkiewicz
Mosaic Fish ~ Fiona Gurney at Box of Frogs
Up-cycled drinks can Fish ~ Christina Stevens at HereNorThere
We seem to have become news.
Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941