ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe

sea mother


Ink. Dimensions unknown. Provenance NT. Exhibited London, Gallery 1, 1957, no. 12. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery, 1960, no. 64. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery, 1976, no. 38. In Goose of Hermogenes, Colquhoun associated powerful female qualities with the sea. A passage describes descendants of Hesper [Hesperus; the Evening Star; Venus] with the archetypal hero- woman: both mother and warrior, debased long since as Britannia, but stemming from the ancient line of foundered Atlantis. She goes on to describe her sisters: all have a family resemblance, all reflect our sea-mother’s noble features. (p. 73). The image is a maritime equivalent of the earth mother. Fittingly, Colquhoun has used the automatic process, écrémage, which involves floating pigment on water.