I first saw this mural at Upfest 2016, but wasn’t sure who it was by or whether it was a festival piece. It turns out that it is by the magnificent Andrew Burns Colwill and it was not his Upfest piece, but a commission.
Colwill is a truly brilliant artist with a very colourful history, who has just completed a magnificent exhibition entitled ’20/50 Vision: Tomorrow’s Habitat’ at the It’s All 2 Much Gallery in Stokes Croft. The works place some of our most treasured species into future places where all is not as it should be. A global warming/pollution warning to us all.
This piece is altogether more mainstream, and for a marine biologist like me a real treat.
Back to my roots for a moment. This whole blogging experience began in February 2015, when I was taken ill with ‘flu and had to spend several days in bed. For a long time I had wanted to digitise a journal I wrote in 1988 but simply hadn’t had the time. Being Ill afforded me the chance to get started.
Since then I have been increasingly distracted by haiku and street art and feel bad that I have for so long neglected the original purpose of ‘Natural Adventures’.
The full journal can be accesses by clicking on the homepage of Natural Adventures under the heading on the left ‘Falkland Journal, 1988’. For context it is worth reading the first entry ‘An Ill Wind’. Enjoy.
Saturday 18 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I woke at 06:05 with a start and a half – I couldn’t believe that I had overslept by four hours. Panic! Perhaps it was the double mattress.
But there was no standby bell. There was no fishing today. I don’t understand why because the weather has been good, despite a gentle swell of about 15 feet or so. Possibly just to give the crew a rest
The reason I was given was “the parameter” ?? eh? I thought, then I realised they were saying “barometer”.
I watched Mosquito Coast – a good film, but inclined to depress me.
Now King Kong Lives has just begun. I never knew such a film existed – looks like it could be good.
I quite enjoyed King Kong, the remake, but this film looks slightly laughable.
Today I have spoken no more than fifteen words. This makes me sad.
Sunday 19 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Another long hard day. This is more like it! I think that this is ten times better than squid fishing. I’m sure my enthusiasm will fade before long, but the fact that there are only twenty or so bottom long-liners in Japan and this is the only Jigger-long-liner makes me feel quite lucky. This is my baby and I am going to do a good job!
Today some grenadiers, and at last some Patagonian Toothfish. I think the Fishing Master was pleased, hence the saki at supper – it is potent stuff – yummie.
Last night I had a very vivid dream about Mr Baker (my housemaster at school) as he was when I first met him twelve years ago. I think he is ill or dying or dead, I don’t know why, but I just get that feeling. He was so friendly (in the dream) and knew who I was – he came over to me and started chatting – I felt close to him, like I did in my final year at school. Odd.
Tomorrow I talk to Fishops via KSJ (the fishing agent) – why is it always like this? Fishops radio, like everything else is so bloody inefficient!
Monday 20 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Today is colder and the catch is very poor – no doubt the Fishing Master will be in a rather bad mood today.
I am sure that before long, there will be an accident in the factory deck. Already the Ice Master has gaffed his own leg. Next it will be a finger in the circular saw or a hook in the face. It is bound to happen sooner or later.
‘Don’t give up ’cause you have friends
Don’t give up you’re not the only one
Don’t give up no reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up you still have us
Don’t give up now we’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up you know its never been easy
Don’t give up ’cause I believe there’s a place there’s a place where we belong’
This could keep me going for a while.
Everyone has gone to bed sharpish (it is now 7pm). After some 17 hours work I don’t yet know if we work tomorrow. I fear so, because we are steaming now to a new fishing ground.
There is a…what? I’ve forgotten – oh yes, a patrol ship the Falkland Desire on its way to deliver some letters for me. So I am writing a whole bunch of pre-paid airmail letters.
Tuesday 21 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Oops – I overslept this morning, thinking that after such a tough day yesterday they would have a day off – no such luck.
Luckily the Fishing Master writes down times, temperatures etc. for the set and deployment, so it isn’t so bad missing the start.
Saw some penguins in a school, leaping like dolphins out of the water – and a seal, playing with a dead Salilota (red cod).
I’ve taken some otoliths for myself to try to help explain the work I do.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll take some photographs of such things (for my lectures!)
Some funny dreams last night about getting caught sleeping with Emma W by my dad – very odd – try to interpret that. All in all very confusing.
It is now about 5.30pm and I am ready for a good night’s sleep. I’ll continue to read One Hundred Years of Solitude, and then I’ll dream of Deb and home.
Time to post a few more pieces from Upfest 2016. This wonderful fish, in the playground of Ashton Gate School, is by Angerami, an artist from Sao Paolo but who now travels the world for his art. He has a Wikipedia page, but sadly it is in Portuguese (I think), and I don’t know what it says.
The biography for Angerami in the Upfest Programme is as follows:
‘Angerami uses travel as an immersive process in the nature, revealed through art in many different medias. Travelling is a passion, which allows connection with his perception of time, space, spiritual awareness and human presence on earth.’
Go figure that out…translated I guess from another source. He paints fish on walls, and that is good enough for me.
This is a beautiful piece of art that I think had been painted for Upfest 2015, although I am not certain. I took the photographs a little while ago, and the wall has since been painted over.
The work is by Andrew Burns Colwill, a Bristol fine artist whose watery paintings have an incredible serenity and dream-like quality about them. I didn’t know much of the artist until I read his extraordinary bio on his website, and it really is worth a quick click and read.
Of course, I particularly like this piece because it has fish in it and I am very fond of fish. (Note to self – do a street art fish special some time). Andrew’s touch is delicate and detailed, and beautifully captures the movement in the piece. One of my favourites of the year.
Any readers who have not encountered this story on my blog before, I recommend you take a quick look at the first entry ‘an Ill Wind‘ to provide some kind of context. As you can see, this is the 28th excerpt from my 1988 journal, and it will appear meaningless without some context setting. The full catalog of chapters so far is in the ‘Falkland Journal, 1988’ category on the left of this page.
Monday 13 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Spoke to Drin on the radio. JB is at this moment on the Right (one of the Falkland Islands fisheries patrol vessels), trawling. It looks very much like I’m on my own. I spent two hours talking to the Fishing Master. He and I now are in good form – he is a good man and cares for his crew. The contract should have included a certain amount of input from him. It was worked out by imbeciles who knew little about the fishing operation. I understand that now.
I have just been watching Crocodile Dundee, but at the critical moment have been cut off – a subtle lunch hint I think.
Spent the evening with Sato (gold tooth) and Naganuma and we watched a couple of porn videos. They became boring very quickly – the only interest I have is trying to understand why the hell people perform in such videos…are they desperate for money? or exhibitionists? very strange.
Tuesday 14 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
40 days to go!
I can’t believe that this is all I had to write on this day! wrote to Louise and Deb.
Prepared for fishing. Did some ace drawings I reckon.
Wednesday 15 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Stand by at 0200 hours – what a nightmare. I hardly slept at all before and I had difficulty afterwards. False alarm, the sea was too heavy, so we moved to the southeast (Zone II).
Spoke with Drin and some idiot on the Falkland Right. People really piss me off sometimes.
Oops I think it was Dave ‘intense’, the one who I didn’t know.
I have arranged for Mr Ikido to deal with the problem of trawlers and traffic – delegation, that is the key to power.
Smoking still – I wish I would stop, but the day drags on so.No smoking before 1200 hours but maybe 4-8 after that. I am looking forward to going home, not least because I’ll be able to stop. (Something that took a further twelve years to conquer!)
No more pictures today. I think that stand by tomorrow is at 0300 hours. Bed early tonight.
I am watching a Japanese TV drama (It’ll last for hours) about blackmail – they really go in for these ‘video dramas’.
My spots under my stubble are still flourishing. I feel fairly ugly at the moment, but my spirits are high.
Thursday 16 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
What a bloody day. Quite exciting really, but very tiring and bloody annoying when the bastard Fishing Master holds you responsible for all the problems.
Caught this amazing monster fish, like a giant goby or blenny and called Cottoperca gobio – yellow, green and gold with a beautiful dorsal fin. See photos.
The whole long-lining process is a bit of a miracle. A production line for the set – really primitive, but thoroughly effective.
Visualisation and key to setting a long-line on board the Koei Maru 30 in Falkland Islands waters, June 1988. Taken from my final report.
Saw a whole bunch of gentoo penguins, loads of albatross too – a real wildlife day. It would be great if I didn’t have to bloody do something! 30 more days of this – I may go bananas!
I’m so bloody tired I feel like a zombie – I may if I’m lucky, grab 6 or 7 hours sleep tonight. I pray for bad weather!
Friday 17 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Another long hard day. Some very interesting things coming up, so I was happy. I got some corals, with any luck I could get them home to Deb, or add them to my collection.
I am still motivated by marine life – there were loads of echinoderms and possibly crinoids today, as well as some ace fish, but none of it what the Fishing Master wants. He and the crew are restless.
A penguin was gaffed up.
The sea was rough today and waves were pouring into the factory deck.
I am once again very tired and want to go to sleep, but I’m sure that, like last night, I won’t find it easy.