The Story Behind | Zostera Noltei (1, 2, 3 & 6)

Zostera Noltei was the starting point of the creation of the seagrass series Between the Sea and the Shore. As I learned and grew fascinated by these marine plants, I felt the need to explore the representation of a plant that is visually simple and yet, in it, it holds so much of life in our oceans. I wanted to portray this contrast between a complete lack of visual exuberance with its inner richness, and it felt daunting. I had no idea what to do, or how to do it. I went over this difficulty by using a fixation, almost an obsession I held for a few years: an image from architect Peter Zumthor work, if I recall correctly, from his book Thinking Architecture. It's a very simple image, a detail of wood work from one of his buildings. The detail is out of context, so all you can see is wood: vertical lines, skillfully aligned. I was haunted by this image: what gives the wood a change in its colours, despite being all the same, parallel wood lines? Somehow, it made sense to bring these obsessive inquiries into my living seagrass gardens: vertical, yes, with changing tones - derived from their age, degradation, water reflections, scale. Alas, as I painted them, I was over and over brought to the sensation of swimming underwater, of the silence that unfolds as we watch the mysterious dance between underwater elements.