As a working artist it is important to me to utilise throw-away materials and be as sustainable as possible. In my submission the textural background was created using a poly tile print, cut from a pizza base. The lamprey pattern on top was printed using linocut, part of off-cuts sourced from a flooring company.
I chose the visually unassuming Lamprey as my species. I found it was not only a symbol of my family crest but the killer of kings and mythologised into dangerous giant serpents.
I have depicted the Lamprey in a Celtic pattern to represent the entanglements they make when they come together to mate. The encompassing circle restricts them, symbolic of the barriers that man has created, preventing them from reaching the freshwater breeding grounds essential to their survival. The Lamprey are suspended in Diatoms: found in clean water, they are food for the young Lamprey that hide in pebbled beds. Pollution from city drains and farming chemicals have poisoned many waterways, this habitat degradation threatens Lamprey survival. It is sad to see the diminishing of a species that has survived in waters all over the world since the time of the dinosaurs. Sea Lamprey are no longer found in the Fourth, with the River Lamprey reducing in numbers.