Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where the Mountains Meet the Sea: Part 3 - The Sea

Hannah Höch, Album, c. 1933

From James Hamilton-Paterson's essay in Sea Change: "... in the early 18th century, medical theory had begun advocating sea bathing as a cure for melancholy. The shock of cold water was held to be invigorating in itself, but it was also believed that the sea contained a strengthening ingredient. Travellers had noticed that sailors and beach-dwellers tended to be very hardy. In Britain, at any rate, this observation contained an anxiety about class. The more thoughtful of the urban aristocracy and social élites worried about their physical state, which was generally interbred, under-exercised and overfed. Effete and full of "spleen" (which today might be diagnosed as chronic boredom), they foresaw that they might eventually become marginalised and die out, pushed aside by sheer peasant fecundity. Suddenly, it seemed, a way towards vigorous good health might lie in immersing their bodies in the waves and doing mild battle with the elements. Various medical regimes soon established themselves, many becoming very popular and associated with coastal towns which by the end of the century had duly turned into resorts. It was this touting of the medicinal virtues of seawater that led to the invention of the beach, which up until then had merely been the shore."

Robert Adams, Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon, 1990

Hiroshi Yamazaki, The Sun is Longing for the Sea 3, 1978

Lynn Davis, Evening Northumberland Strait #VIII, 1993

Liz Deschenes, Color Study #13, 1994-95

Susan Derges, Ocean Taw, 1997

Asako Narahashi, Kawaguchicko, 2003

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.