Phocine relates to a seal in the same way feline relates to a cat or a canine to a dog. What is coupled to the notion that we are connected to the life world is a feeling of a strong sense of isolation from it. It is a sensibility that I attempt to bring into expression through some themes within my work.
Ocean swimmers in particular and swimming in general is one such area of human activity where connection and isolation are both enhanced. The sensation of being supported within a medium and having our senses filled and dulled by the nature of it.
Phocine II, the study in this particular theme thread was generated from having met an Oceans Seven swimmer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceans_Seven) at Lough Hyne between Skibbereen and Baltimore in West Cork, a while after his daily swim and whilst looking to be awed, it was the quiet calm and engaged nature that struck me the most. Later, I realised that my harbouring of awe had produced within me at some level an expectation that he be Phocine. A Selkie perhaps.
This sculpture has been brought to its current state over a period of 2 years and has been, in its previous incarnations, exhibited twice before; at the RHA Annual Exhibition in 2019 and at the Skibbereen Arts Festival the same year.