Ruth Thomas

The sea and its biodiversity have always fascinated me, but I am increasingly concerned with the threat to our oceans posed by pollution, depletion of marine life and rising sea temperatures.

My artwork investigates the intertidal foreshores of the East Lothian coastline, which for centuries have provided a safe haven for fishermen, a water source for industry and a place for recreation. As such it is the perfect location to examine the impact of human intervention on the marine environment.

My drawing process is intrinsic to the theme of the work providing a metaphoric structure to deconstruct and regenerate natural forms in a visual simulation of nature in flux. Embedded within the abstract format are traces of sea forms, ocean currents and man-made substances. The broad gestural strokes evoke the perpetual motion of the sea while the intensely worked areas contrast with quiet spaces of emptiness. There is a divergence between the spontaneous marks made by chance and more controlled intricate lines, and a discordance between the organic and the manufactured.

This process of exploratory drawing has triggered an evolution in my own way of thinking and has given me a deeper understanding of my relationship to the natural world.


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