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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (17)     +     OPENINGS (3)     +     DEADLINES (12)     +     CLOSINGS (6)
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S.Collacott, Kauai Passage, 60x60, oil on canvas

A TIDAL MOMENT by Susan Collacott

October 22 - November 9
Opening Celebration: Thursday, October 25, 2018, 5-7 PM

Cowichan Valley Art Centre, Arbutus Gallery
2687 James Street, Duncan, B.C.

The ocean is mostly in the imagination. Going to the moon in the sky is easier done than going to the deepest valley of these salty basins. People dream of flying but have nightmares about falling into the ocean. We are 78 percent water and we have evolved in our mother’s saline sea in the womb. A miracle! So, why so fearful of the ocean?

I always wanted to go scuba diving after seeing Jacques Cousteau on TV. Being a land locked citizen, my experience with the sea was a Florida beach and jumping into the waves. On a tour of Belize,, on a tiny island, I took a snorkelling set and went out to the barrier reef. It was like colour TV, a vivid, organic maze with fascinating corals, giant lobsters, spotted and stripped fish of all shapes and sizes, gorgeous sea fans, and sea sponges. Dazzling! The next day an inexperienced guide took some of us out to the other side of the reef. I found myself in a bottomless void of pale green water. I could feel the pull of the tide drawing me out and was astounded by its power.

S.Collacott, Pink Crevice, 20x24 oil on canvas

I looked for my fellow snorkelers and could barely see them. I chased after them as fast as I could. Every rush in of the ocean’s pulse pushed me toward the reef and with every pull, I was back out again. Through the blur, I was losing sight of the group and no one seemed to be looking out for me.

Panic! I had to get back to the other side. Finally, a low ridge appeared, and I went over it, like a fish dumped out of a bucket. That Tidal movement stayed with me embedded in my brain like my heart beat.

Years later, I began to read ‘Sea Change’ by Sylvia Earle who was the first female pioneer of the ocean depth and later became the president of the American Association of Oceanography. It was this book that took me safely down with her to the bottom of the great valleys, hot air-vents from the centre of the earth and around the mountain ranges under the sea. She bewitched me with her descriptions of phosphorescent creatures. That was It! The inspiration that launched a two-year series of paintings, more magical than I had ever done. They were a gift from her words to my imagination. Before my 65th birthday, I took up scuba diving and in 12 weeks I was in Cozumel where I did 9 dives along that fabulous barrier reef. It was the making of a dream.

S.Collacott, Flashes in the Deep, 48x60, oil on canvas

Cowichan Valley Art Centre, Arbutus Gallery
2687 James Street, Duncan, B.C.
(250) 746-1633

Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 AM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Sunday: Closed

Susan Collacott





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