'Good morning, death - Good Morning
Early in the day I draw the sea with graphite in a sketch book. Back in the studio I create waves that break again, in oil paint, bronze or etching ink. People, animals, birds emerge from the subconscious as I work and are there to be discovered.
[...] Terrifying, beautiful, rapacious, embracing, never still, always hungry, always seducing, always mysterious, always there.
As a child I would walk a short way in to the sea, stand still and talk to it, ten-to-the-dozen. Now I listen and identify with the shingle, as the sea, like time, forces inevitable erosion.'
Maggi Hambling, April 2010
I can identify with Hambling's relationship with the sea. When I go to the beach I walk all the way down its long spine at the waves edge, picking up treasures and telling myself stories. There is a kind of walking with your feet in the sea which I find irresistible. The waves at my ankles feed my thoughts and I am totally lost in their music. Then there is a fear which is inevitable, of a force which controls you. In the dark, on your own, that's when you feel it most, a tidal pull upon the human.
However I do not like Hambling's wave sculptures; they look dead to me. Bronze is a medium which does not translate all of the shifting fluid and torpid qualities of the waves. In paint Hambling manipulates the liquidity of her medium, in metal there is only the turgid, frozen movement of the waves.