Tim Pugh

Environmental and Mixed Media Artist

Category: Mixed media beach installation

“Fish Chain”.

The temporary installation was created at St Bees beach in West Cumbria in 2017 and was created in response to environmental concerns about fish ingesting plastic debris and the potential dangers of toxic  chemicals being introduced into the maritime food chain.The plastic debris was gathered from the tideline just prior to the construction and is deposited in large volumes on West Cumbrian beaches during winter storms. 

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“Fortune Tellers”.

The temporary mixed media artwork was made in response to environmental concerns about fish ingesting plastic debris into their digestive systems in the ocean..I sketched and cut out outlines of Irish Sea fish drawn onto plastic drink bottle labels and attached them to a capstan at Whitehaven Harbour in West Cumbria. The plastic labels reminded me of the fortune teller plastic fish that come from Christmas Crackers that curl up in your hand .The artwork was set up and photographically documented in November 2017.

“Ceramic Tideline”.

The artwork is part of a series of temporary beach installations making use of enlarged photocopies from  collected Victorian and Edwardian ceramic segments gathered from the tideline. The ceramic as well as glass and other domestic finds are products washed up from a subterranean midden located next to the harbour wall. The copies were adhered onto a smooth boulder in the outline of a map depicting  a overhead view of the flow of nearby North Beach.The artwork was created on South Beach which is closed to the general public because of the danger of subsidence from cliffs of slag heap from an old collliery.

“Post Midden”.

I have included two images of the temporary installation created at South Beach in Whitehaven,Cumbria,in 2017.I used enlarged photocopies of retrieved Victorian ceramic pieces,scattered across the tideline on nearby North Beach.The images were glued onto a metal post that itself resembled a ceramic sculptural form over the course of a stormy afternoon.I was drawn to The idea of wrapping up a ordinary  featureless piece of metal and transforming it into a three dimensional jigsaw like form. The ceramic pieces were washed up from the site of a Victorian midden located just by the harbour wall and provide an endless supply of materials for ideas and inspiration for various artistic projects .The post dissapeared after two days of storms and was never seen again.

“Bigfoot Imprint “

“Bigfoot Imprint ” was created at South Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria in August 2017.The intervention was created in response to witnessing massive amounts of plastic waste deposited on the beaches in West Cumbria throughout the summer. To highlight the sheer volume and different types of plastic waste I created a towering edifice from material collected from nearly St Bees beach. I adhered the colourful waste onto a traffic cone borrowed from the nearby harbour and situated the artwork next to the sea. The cone itself acts as a warning sign and was embossed with the title “Bigfoot ” hence the title. After photographing the artwork it was disassembled and the cone returned to its spot on the street guarding against a hole in the ground. 

“Plastic World “

The temporary installation was created and sited at South Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria in June 2017.The ongoing theme was plastic environmental pollution on the beaches especially at St Bees beach which seems to have plenty of plastic waste deposited on the tideline. At times, the world is seemingly drowning in plastic and I wanted to illustrate my concerns by creating a circular intervention symbolic of the planet .Ironically, I had to purchase a beach ball in order to adhere all the different types of plastic I collected from the beach in a two hour preparation session.Again, I was equally seduced by the vivid colours and enjoyed juxtapositioning the contrasting colours and shapes to create a spiky kind of  “Death Star “.The breeze wanted to push the globe across the beach and it had to be secured by hidden pebbles. After photographing the artwork it was taken to a local High school for pupils to recycle and create more artwork on the same theme.

“South Beach Map “

The temporary map /installation was created at South Beach in May 2017.The artwork is a drawing of a map of the area next to North Beach in Whitehaven where I have been collecting washed up Victorian pieces of domestic ceramic and glass on the tideline . The fragments were used to create an installation in a gallery in North Wales a month later and the map drawing on the beach was an experimental trial run to see the materials were successful and if they complimented each other. I sketched the detail from the map onto a sandstone boulder and incorporated the ceramic finds on the surface. Rainwater has since obliterated the lines leaving no trace of the drawing. I like to work on this beach and try out ideas despite the beach being inaccessible and closed to the general public. I have to squeeze through a fence and clamber down rough ground in order to get access and be mindfull of high tides that could cut me off.

“Tidal Puzzle “

I found a piece of jigsaw at South Beach near Whitehaven in West Cumbria and sketched out the outline onto a boulder using pencil and mixed media in February  2017. I wanted to convey a sense of mystery related to the unceasing motions of the tides and incorporated a photograph of the same beach at high tide. This was to suggest the inner workings of the complexity of tidal ranges and the artwork itself was photographed just as the sea threatened to engulf the drawing. I rubbed in charcoal to highlight the illusion of an ocean inside the boulder and the artwork lasted a couple of days before becoming engulfed in shingle. 

“Moon Tide”

The temporary drawing was created at South Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria in March 2017.The beach is a dangerous location due to subsidence from an old colliery tip and is closed to the public.I have to scramble over a wall and negotiate a steep bank to get access but it is one of my favourite places to create art because of the intriguing  variety of manmade and natural materials available to work with. I like to draw on the sandstone boulders and experiment with different materials in between the tides.”Moon Tide” was created on a freezing cold day using Moon imagery to suggest it’s influence on the tides .I used a photocopy and charcoal to create the idea of a window effect,highlighting  the natural textures within the boulder to compliment the imagery.The artwork took four hours to create and a recent visit back to the boulder revealed it was buried amidst shingle with only the tip showing,testament to the power and influence of the ever changing tides on the shoreline. 

“Glass Boat “.

This temporary installation was created in between the tides at North Beach in Whitehaven , West Cumbria in Autumn 2016.I collected fragments of glass gathered from the tideline and arranged them within an outline of an old schooner sketched out on the sand.The  boat was an old vessel originally constructed in Whitehaven and I wanted to use a material connected with the sea,hence the use of gathered glass.The glass itself came from old bottles which themselves had fragments of text embossed with references to Whitehaven hence reinforcing the links and connections with the subject matter and materials used.The artwork took 5/6 hours to create and photograph and was gone the next day with the glass being reclaimed by the waves .