Every now and then, you succumb to the urge to create something. There is a slight possibility that you will write a book one day but for now, you start writing a blog. Mainly for your mother’s enjoyment: your parents live on the other side of the world and you get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time you think that the next day, as they will wake up and trot to the kitchen to make their usual strong espresso, they will be looking forward to starting their day by reliving their lives through the new experiences you are having in the life of your own.
When I heard about Aquatopia — the new exhibition at Tate Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall — that explores how the ocean deep has inspired writers and artists across cultures and through centuries, I thought this would definitely be an exciting experience.
I am no art expert but wouldn’t you feel terrified to miss out on a rare opportunity to see what Salvador Dali, Jules Verne, and Barbara Hepworth had in common?
Turns out, it was their fascination with the deep deep sea, its myths, legends, and monsters.
Did you know that Dali’s obsession with the sea nearly killed him? In 1936, when delivering a lecture at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, he nearly suffocated in his diving suit and had to be rescued by the young poet David Gascoyne, who arrived with a spanner to release Dali from his diving helmet.
Can’t blame him though. If you believed that your work might inspire someone to study what lies beneath the surface of our everyday life, would you not try your best to draw their attention?
As you wade through various artifacts of the exhibition, you are treated to this expansive view.
An added bonus: the cafe at the Tate serves good coffee and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
It was a cold and windy November afternoon; one of those mitten-magnets of days when you know that winter is coming and there is nothing you can do about it, other than greet it with open arms and let yourself be blown away by the natural wonder of the sea and an endless human capacity to create.