I chose this species as its common name is the May Fish. It lives in the sea but when it is 3 -4 years old it migrates into estuaries and swims up freshwater rivers to spawn between April and June hence the name May fish. My mum, Mary, who was 95 in May this year is also often known as May and my husband, Pete, who died unexpectedly in September 2021 age 54 was also born in May, so I thought it was meant. When researching this fish I discovered that water quality has a huge effect on the survival of this species. Water quality is determined by four factors. The turbidity or murkiness of the water, the temperature of the water, the acidity of the water as measured by the pH scale and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.
The background has been made using acrylic paint on bondaweb heat transferred on to calico. The fish is made from sequins sewn on to calico and appliquéd on to the background. Assorted coloured cotton was hand stitched together and machine stitched on to the background for the pH scale. Strips of brown silk was appliquéd for the reeds and metal foil added. Hand embroidered embellishments for the bubbles represent the level of oxygen in the water. The piece was mounted on a piece of old tablecloth and felt by Helen McCulloch.