For this exercise I had an idea in my head about how far removed we are from our food sources. I know things have got better in the last few years for some people in knowing where their food comes from but I think there is still huge proportion of the population who for one reason or another (often linked to income) have no idea what goes into their food or the source of that food. As I was looking at my beach finds I kept looking at the shell of a crab I had picked up. I then thought about crab sticks and how some time ago how I overheard someone saying how they like the taste of the crab in the sticks. Crab sticks contain little or no actual crab meat but are mainly made of surimi (ground and processed meat of white fish – usually pollock) and starches. I decided to combine crab and crab sticks into a drawing.
I decided to use coloured pencils for this drawing on A3 paper. I put the crab on top of the crab sticks to provide a link between the two but to place them on the end of a shelf and draw them high on the otherwise empty page so the viewer would question why they are balanced in that manner. Is it about the two or about the perilous state of our food chain? I wanted the viewer to construct their own narrative.
When I viewed the image against the brief for this exercise I realised it did not really meet the brief of adding layers of colour, varying my marks and working quite spontaneously. I therefore decided to draw another image using these criteria. I had collected egg cases (catshark, ray and whelk) on the beach and thought the image would show that life goes on.
I used A2 paper and Conte crayons for this image, using both the side and ends of the sticks. I also tried to vary the marks, be more energetic and layer the colours more in order to fulfil the brief. This has worked better on the catshark egg cases on the left than on the ray and whelk cases to the right.