Fish - Dianne Heesom-Green



The idea for these fish came after the new fishing quotas were implemented in Paternoster. The very concept that was supposed to enrich the small fisherman turned on him and named him ’poacher’.


To most of us, the reality of eating fish means going to the supermarket and taking hake fillets out the freezer or ordering kingklip in a restaurant.  However, to a fisherman who goes out on cold tossing waves, it means school fees and bread on the table.


To explore this, I take ‘fillets’ of clay and work them together to form a composite fish. I assemble the fish to symbolize fish in general.  The additional pectorals and tail fin structures hints at the Coelacanth, a living fossil fish.  This clue to the antiquity of fish as a species is to suggest that we consciously acknowledge and respect what we consume.


These hollow paper clay fish range from 25cm in length to 80cm and are able detach from the base for ease of transport.  They are created in porcelain, terracotta and stoneware paper clay.   Oxides and glazes are chosen to create a fossil like appearance and to enhance the natural stone colors of the clay.  High firing to 1200 degrees ensures that though they are very light, they are much stronger than they look.