Work > Merchant Mariner

In my practice I'm particularly drawn to epic narratives involving the sea: Moby-Dick, The Odyssey, the Raft of the Medusa, the 2021 Suez Canal container ship obstruction. There is something very primal about the ocean that has captivated people for millennia, and continues today partly in the form of internet memes.

In 2021 I became fascinated by the 1975 wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior, and the trade routes the Great Lakes provide to a booming coal industry. The allure of potential danger at sea led me to become certified as a merchant mariner. During the summer of 2022, I worked for two months as a deckhand on M/V Paul R. Tregurtha, a bulk cargo vessel trafficking coal. During my tour, I took copious notes on every facet of the ship, collected hundreds of images, and smuggled home coal samples and other bits and pieces from the boat. I am in the process of developing paints based on crushed coal and rust fragments collected from the ship.

These photographs are the basis for some of my image transfer-based paintings.