Phare View.  Brick pebbles from Happisburgh beach.
Phare View. Brick pebbles from Happisburgh beach.

 

Abrasion was born out of a conversation between artist Malca Schotten and myself on Happisburgh beach on the north Norfolk coast.  We had been asked to put together an exhibition for the King of Hearts in Norwich and had discovered a shared interest in Happisburgh, a village which has been slowly disappearing over the cliffs into the North Sea over the past 30 or so years.  We wanted to convey the rawness and the physical process of the eroding cliffs, as well as the enormous destructive power of the sea.

 

Ebb and Flow.  Coastal pigments.
Ebb and Flow. Coastal pigments.

Malca made a series of large drawings, powerful and intuitive, some made quickly, others worked on over time.  I collected bricks from the beach that had once been part of buildings, containers for people, and had then been eroded by the sea into pebbles.  I made new containers out of them, naming them after houses that once stood in the village before the cliff had disappeared from under them.

Undercut.  Handmade paper and coastal pigments.
Undercut. Handmade paper and coastal pigments.
Undercut.  Handmade paper and coastal pigments.
Undercut. Handmade paper and coastal pigments.

I also collected pieces of fallen cliff – clays and sands – dissolved them in water and, working with erosion processes, made paintings and decorated hand-made paper with them

Abrasion.  Exhibition view.
Abrasion. Exhibition view.

All photos by Liz McGowan

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