Spencer Finch

Spencer Finch / United States, b.1962 / Mediterranean Sea (afternoon effect) 4-2-02 2002 / Watercolour on paper / Purchased 2007 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

Gazing from a shore over the Mediterranean Sea as the light conditions shifted, Spencer Finch made precise recordings in watercolour of the colours of the sea, from shore to horizon. These studies, made en-plein air, formed the basis of Mediterranean Sea (afternoon effect) 4-2-02. The work is an attempt to create a seascape without employing the conventions of representational art. Part of an ongoing series, Finch has represented his observations of bodies of water in various locations, including the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the River Seine.

At the core of Finch's varied practice is an investigation of the relationship between perception, memory, colour and light. Recognising that light makes objects visible while remaining invisible, he aims to show that light itself must be experienced in order to see anything at all. He investigates light, not so much as an objectively measurable phenomenon, than as something bound up with memory, time and geography.