Our Treasured Coast started as a conversation between Dillon Beach in California, close to where Maxine embarked on a residency at In Cahoots in 2019 and the reconnection with her beloved South Devon Coast in the UK, subsequently along her travels other beaches have added to this inventory. America was great a source of inspiration during her short stay, which naturally when she returned home proceeded to evolve within her practice.
The Solitude series of prints was created during the Covid 19 Pandemic that struck in March 2020, as a response to the periods of isolation, during the various lockdowns as well as the reconnection with the coast as we all ventured back out into the world.
Some of us were trying our best to come to terms with finding ourselves on our own for long periods of time, navigating solitude, not being able to see family and friends or even travel, isolating for protection or naturally wanting to protect and keep our loved ones safe. Dealing with loneliness, life’s traumas and many sadly and tragically losing their loved ones during the pandemic. We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory, retreating to our homes, to work, teach and to survive the best we could.
SOLITUDE SERIES I
SOLITUDE SERIES II
Shortly before Covid19 reached our shores Maxine had began to reunited with several of the South Devon beaches familiar to her childhood, full of memories past, what little pockets of time she had available she visited these beaches. Maxine would record images on her iPhone and take them back to her studio in Wiltshire which enabled her to develop her studies and start the process of creating bodies of work based on those discoveries. Then naturally, during the Pandemic when any subsequent lockdowns were lifted, Maxine would grab the chance to escape to this stunning part of the coast, continuing to document how considerably it had changed since she was there over ten years earlier. Maxine was shocked to see large chunks of cliffs had already disappeared dramatically into the sea, taking large sections of the South Devon Coastal path with it, new paths were later formed a bit further inland, redirected around the edges of neighbouring farmland, enabling visitors to continue to walk these beautiful paths along the coast.
A few years later and the paths are redirected again, further away from the cliff edge and danger, the scars set, properties becoming ever more dangerously close to the edge, waiting in turn for the time that perhaps one day will follow the same inevitable fate of crashing down into the waiting sea below.
The Solitude series focuses on Ayrmer Cove and South Milton Sands inspired by the ancient Thurlestone Rock - a rock with a hole - a large and striking presence rising up from the sea, featuring predominantly through this body of work.
These two beaches in particular became places of sanctuary and solace, escaping to them frequently when we all gradually emerged and ventured out onto our new pathways.
ALCATRAZ SAN FRANCISCO
During lockdown Maxine disciplined herself in her studio by way of extending the printmaking that she had previously started at the In Cahoots residency in Petaluma, in December 2019. She focused on the reference she collated after the residency during a visit to Alcatraz Island, just off San Francisco Bay. She created a series of atmospheric monotypes of the Island, The Rock, offering the viewer a sense of mystery from this former prison, with its evocative stories from the past using rich Sienna and Prussian blue tones to create atmosphere, and dramatic angles, developing a dialogue that evolves on the page between mark, shape, line, texture and colour for this unique series of Alcatraz prints.