Research on the beach – Day 5 – last day.

Woke at 6am, a beautiful morning, dead calm, sun already up, tide in, high tide at 7am.

On the beach by 7am. Set up cine camera with colour film on a tripod and took 3 seconds of cine film every 15 minutes until 6.45 pm, when the waves were just enough to splash over the top of my wellies.


Set up first balloon at the waters edge tied to a rock, then placed the next balloon where the water had receded when the timer next went off.


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Tied paintings to rocks at bottom of tide.. hoping they would not just float off. Hhardboard piece would not float, so two balloons attached.  Very rushed as the tide was coming in and I kept having to dash off to cine camera every 15 mins, the return trip to the camera took 6 minutes each time as the beach is huge at low tide. Very nervous all will be gone when the tide comes in as the current is strong here..felt most peculiar watching them disappear below the water. Quite a sea breeze had developed.


Set up what I think of as life lines, finite pieces of film strip to represent people who I know have been strongly connected to this particular spot but whose time is up. Film set up with fishing line or string, between seaweed below and a balloon on the surface.. ran out of time to do all I wanted as I was being chased off the beach by the incoming tide..


Waited at the top of the beach for the tide to return to where I started this morning. In the picture below you can see the lifelines afloat and the painting under two balloons in the distance.


In my planning I expected the pattern of the balloons as they became afloat to demonstrate the fact the tide moves in accordance with simple harmonic motion, but was not the case. The rate at which the sea moved down the beach was caused not only by SHM, but also by the varying slope of the beach.. so a regular pattern was not discernable from this experiment. Had there been better weather earlier in the week I could have other experiments to explore this .. .


At high tide, the wind had dropped to the evening calm.. swam out and found the paintings floating between pillars of seaweed.. magical and totally still.

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Film lives also suspended through the water.. perhaps would have been better in deeper water.

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Went home wondering how they would all cope with another low tide and another high tide during the night before I would see them again.


One thought on “Research on the beach – Day 5 – last day.

  1. Where are the scallops? Stunning underwater serene compared to what was happening on the surface with your balloons! Tides are wild and inconsiderate..I can imagine you running up and down the beach trying to capture it all before the tide flowed in..a great achievement especially as, like time, the tides wait for noone and do exactly as they please. A prohetic and fabulous piece – worth the hardship of a week in the wind and rain on the beach!! Let me know if you need an assistant next time for such a project.. Fiona x

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