Tim Pugh

Environmental and Mixed Media Artist

Category: Mixed media beach installation

“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 . 

“Plastic Fantastic? “

“Plastic Fantastic? ” is a mixed media installation created at St Bees beach in West Cumbria in October 2016.The artwork was created in response to the continued occurrence of environmental degredation on the beach with vast amounts of plastic being deposited on the tideline. After collecting the waste, I decided to smother a beautifully formed boulder with the plastic to achieve a visually overwhelming effect of manmade artificial material, sharply contrasted against the natural backdrop. The intention  was to highlight the sheer amount of plastic that gets dumped by arranging a concentrated mass of material to catch the attention of passing visitors thus  raising awareness of the issue. At the same time I was also seduced by the bright  colours which in turn evokes mixed feelings of my intentions of what I wanted to convey. The artwork resembles some kind of scaly creature and people like me,enjoyed the vivid colours but were equally appalled by the amount of waste deposited in the locality. 

“Toxic Cocktail “.

The installation is made up of tideline bottles collected from various beaches in West Cumbria in July 2016. I was horrified at the sobering statistic that eight million tonnes of plastic waste is deposited into the oceans every year as well as attendant chemicals and toxins that accompany the plastic bottles. I highlighted the effects and consequences of the chemicals by enlarging and painting the warning signs found in tiny detail printed on the bottles. I used acrylic paint and marker pens to deliberately highlight and thus reinforce the dangers to maritime life posed by the different chemicals in the various bottles.The bottles were then positioned on a beach groyne and photographed whilst interested passers by stopped to have a look and reflect on the artwork. I was interested to show the artwork to the general public for responses and intend to exhibit future work in similar off site/pop alternative venues in the future. 

“Toxic Tale”.

“Toxic Tale ” is a continuation of a series of interventions created in response to my inquiry into issues that deal with maritime pollution. I picked up a large wooven plastic sheet from a beach and embossed a warning sign from a bleach bottle. The sheet was wrapped around a beach groyne at St Bees in Cumbria and was intended to highlight the environmental consequences of widespread use of chlorine found in bleach cleaning products. I deliberately enlarged the image of the warning sign logo to raise awareness to beach visitors as most warning signs on bleach products are tiny and illegible .The artwork was sited against a beautiful natural backdrop so as to highlight the intended message. 

“Seagull Food Chain “.

“Seagull Food Chain ” was created on a beach groin at St Bees beach in July 2015.I created a seagull outline adhering beachcombed fragments of discarded plastic onto the wooden surface. The intention was to highlight the issue of plastic debris getting into the maritime food chain with future disastrous consequences for life on earth. Most seabirds have plastic in their gut which leads to poisoning and starvation as a result of eight million tons of plastic being dumped into the sea every year.Passing onlookers were attracted to the vivid colours and after photographing the artwork, I collected up the plastic. I view each mini litter pick as an integral part of the creative process and recycle the debris to create future issue based artworks. 

“Bottletop Cluster”.

“Bottletop Cluster ” was created at St Bees beach in Cumbria in May 2016.I was horrified at the sheer amount of plastic waste deposited on the tideline and yet seduced by the attractive bright colours of the bottletops. To highlight how out of place the colours seem in a beautiful natural location I chose a pristine beach location at St Bee’s to further illuminate the contrast between man made and natural materials. I found an appropriate boulder in which to attach the bottletops I collected and decorated half the boulder to convey the colour contrast and highlight the profound difference of the products. I attached the tops using blue tack and after photography, dismantled the intervention and took the bottletops home to use for future projects.

“Cold Change “.

The temporary artwork was created in response to the referendum vote on wether the U.K. should stay or leave the E.U. I was saddened and shocked by the result and in response, created a series of artworks using mirrors and mixed media. I drew out a map of the UK  directly onto the surface of a mirror with a sharpie pen and infilled the map with text from my poll card. The mirror was then placed in the sea and I photographed the effects of the tide depositing the sand across the map. The resulting image resembled a weather map depicting a North Westerly airstream hence the title “Cold Change”.This I saw equally as a metaphor for the changes and uncertain future that will affect the U.K. as a result of the referendum vote to leave the E.U.

“Kiln,Furnace and Forge”

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“Kiln,Furnace and Forge” is a mixed media beach installation created at North Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. The beach has many reminders of its proximity to former heavy industries in the area such as old collieries and brickworks and the artwork is made up from from collected fragments collected from the beach and arranged on a section of eroded brick stonework.These include pieces of pottery, glassware and various pieces of slagwaste and coal from old nearby collieries. I was fascinated by the various textures and tones of these finds and enjoyed arranging them into a formal pattern before the tide came in and reclaimed the fragments.