What can you find when walking along the beach? Artist Megan Barron decided to find out. She walked the beaches on Long Island and picked up objects that drifted to the wrack line – a line of debris, above the mean high tide line, which has been deposited by previous higher than normal tides.
The wrack line project, as described by Barron, is “a daily visual journal of what washes ashore. Every day for a year I will post a new painting or drawing of treasures found during beach walks.” Her project started on May 25, 2009 and ended on May 24, 2010. The 365 paintings and sketches were shown at the South Street Gallery in Greenport, NY over the summer. The show can still be viewed on their website, or on the Wrack Line blog.
Predictably, there are plenty of clam, oyster and crab shells. Barron also found spent shotgun shells, pottery shards, sea glass, driftwood, fishing lures and hooks, squished bottles and cans, plastic beach toys, lighters and feathers. One of her favorite discoveries was a parachute toy.
For backdrops to her daily objects, she often uses found paper, including targets, envelopes, book pages, a French grammar book, scientific reports and old family letters.
Her entry for April 29, 2010 describes an outing with her father: “On a recent brisk afternoon I took my dad on a walk by Hallock’s Bay. In the sand halfway to the point lie bricks, rusting iron bars, & bits of glass and ceramic–remnants of a house that once lived by the water. We wondered quietly who the people might have been. When did they hang to dry their final line of laundry or wash their last dish? My dad went off on his own for awhile, then returned with the items for this painting.”
What do you think about this idea of writing about each day’s discovery vs. events or feelings?