The Sardine Run - original oil painting on box canvas by Christian Turner


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Original oil on cotton box canvas, 1.2m x 1m (~47" x ~39.5"). Weight before packaging; 4.4kg (~9.7lbs)
The idea behind this work first stemmed from the desire to do something large and action-packed, much like older paintings that depict famous battles or pivotal moments in history. The natural world is inundated with events and phenomena that are truly breathtaking and occur with relative regularity, but see too little recognition in the art world. I wanted to capture one of these events; specifically the sardine run that happens annually off the coast of South Africa and the subsequent wide variety in animal species it attracts. I think this is a painting easily lost in due to the many things going on: sharks and dolphins cooperatively massing fish into large bait balls; gannets diving in from the surface; even a Bryde's whale making an appearance. A great deal of effort went into making the scene authentic, making sure no species that aren't native to the event present themselves, accurate bait ball formations etc. Some license has been taken, however, with the sequence and concentration of events, so that the spirit of the sardine run can be achieved in one image.
This picture is currently unframed but is fitted with a cord for easy hanging.
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