An idea has been brewing in my head for awhile, but I didn't quite have the right vision for how the fish needed to look or how they were going to be made. I attempted a few "Fish Outta Water" pieces years ago but they just didn't cut it. The lack of vision also had something to do with me being a Fish Outta Water myself...
It took a trip to the Sydney Art Museum to inspire a flurry of sketches and ideas that eventually turned into the fish you see above. I walked into a room full of Aboriginal art that stopped me in my tracks. Couldn't take my eyes off these giant, painted wood carvings that towered in the center of the room. There were about 25 of them, big, tall vertical things carved out of round timbers. Completely abstract. I was staring in awe. I wanted to take them all home with me. The entire rest of my trip in OZ I filled pages and pages with sketches inspird by these carved wood shapes. It wasn't until I got back home and got back into the art groove that these sketches started to make sense. Fish started to emerge from the designs I was making and then it all started to come together, as it usually does after getting a hefty dose of inspiration. I finally got around to creating some of the first fish and am loving them. Cutting out, sanding and designing the surfboard-esque shapes has a satisfaction all in it's own. Lot's to explore here, it will be interesting to see where these go.
These fish, along with dozens, maybe even hundreds of others, will be made out of found/reclaimed wood and placed around the Ventura area and beyond over the next few months. Hillsides, beaches, parks, rooftops, hanging from trees... all sorts of random locations.
The premise of The Fish Outta Water Project is that most people eventually wake up and find themselves in situations that are totally uncharacteristic of who they truly are and where they would rather be in life. Just as a fish out of the water is out of place, people are often out of place in their lives. We've all been there. Those times when you do things that are not "you" or working that job that doesn't offer any stimulation besides the piece of paper you get at the end of the week with that little dollar sign on it next to your name. Getting stuck in a rut/situation without seeing a way to get out of it. Fish need water to be alive. People need passion to be alive. Any passion. Something to lose sleep over, something that puts a smile on your face when you open your eyes in the morning. The Fish Outta Water Project is ultimately a reminder to never stop searching for that drive and passion in life. A reminder that we are supposed to enjoy this ride. If we aren't continuously working towards the goal of being able to do exactly what we want to do in life, then what's the point? The only way to fail is to give up on the dreams.
So if you find one of my Fish Outta Water, and you want it, take it. It's yours on the condition I get an email with who you are what what you're passionate about.
It took a few years of wandering the earth and sea for me to gain a clearer vision of who I am and what I want in life. The marine layer continues to clear the farther I go in the right direction... or what I feel is the right direction. As a Fish Outta Water, I feel like I've finally made it back to the waters edge, my fins can feel the wet sand and I can taste the salt in the air... and just over the rocks, the waves are absolutely pumping!!!