- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
- The sea
1989–90; reworked and retitled 1995
- Subsequent Title(s)
- The sea II
- Description of Featured Image
- A view of a shore and the sea in the midst of a storm, with large, jagged rocks at the right. At the lower left, in front of huge waves, a man appears to be walking into the water. An area of light at the upper centre radiates amid angry clouds. Although inscribed ‘12’, this is actually an impression of the ninth state of this print. In 1995, the print was reworked through four more states, as The sea II (see cat. no. E.015.1).
- Where Made
- Dunmoochin, Cottles Bridge. Alphington, Melbourne
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Etching, burnishing, aquatint and drypoint on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: Arches paper with watermark: ‘Arches / FRANCE’; Somerset paper with partial watermark: ‘somerset / ENGLAND’; BFK Rives paper with watermark: ‘BFK RIVES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol.
Image size: 197 x 300 mm
Matrix size: 202 x 305 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- RAE.11 (1989–90), RAE.90 (1995)
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- All impressions printed by Rick Amor. States I through IX, and first edition, printed by Amor in his Dunmoochin studio, Cottles Bridge (The sea). States X through XIII, and second edition, printed in the Alphington studio (The sea II).
- Summary Edition Information
- Thirteen states. Two editions. First edition: nominal edition of ten, but only five impressions printed and numbered, 1990 (The sea). Second edition: nominal edition of ten, but only two impressions printed and numbered, 1995 (The sea II).
- Niagara Galleries 1990: Niagara Galleries, Richmond (Melbourne), Rick Amor, opened 19 June 1990 [closing date not recorded], no. 22.
- Gary Catalano, Rick Amor & the Graphic Arts (exh. cat.), Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria, Melbourne, 1993, cat. no. 22, illus. p. 19 (but as cat. no. 18).
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: five state impressions, numbered 1 through 5, all dated 1989 (The sea); seven state impressions, numbered 6 through 12, all dated 1990 (The sea); AP, dated 1990 (The sea); three state impressions, numbered 1 through 3, all dated 1995 (The sea II); AP, dated 1995 (The sea II).
- British Museum, London: ed. 1/10, dated 1995 (The sea II) (2006,0730.28).
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra: ed. 2/10, dated 1995 (The sea II) (2007.719).
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne: ed. 3/10, with plate tone, dated 1990 (The sea) (P182-1990).
This etching, begun in 1989, takes its cue from a print made earlier in the same year, The sea (with giant squid) (cat. no. E.012). E.015 is one of a number of works that Amor made in the late 1980s and 1990s in which the sea became the setting of nightmarish experience. Here, rocks, sky and sea all appear to seethe, as though in an apocalyptic dream – wherein the whole of nature rises up and threatens obliteration.
The first version of the etching was taken through nine states and completed in 1990. It showed a giant squid on the distant horizon at left, and a lone male figure in the lower left corner, seemingly about to plunge into the sea. Aquatint was added in the ninth state so as to intensify the darkening mood of the image.
Amor returned to the etching in 1995, changing its title and reworking the plate, using both etching and drypoint. First he removed the squid, by scoring over it in drypoint, and then he burnished it out altogether; he also caused the man to disappear completely, by casting him in dark drypoint shadow. The figure began to reappear in the penultimate state and was again a clear presence in the thirteenth and final state. In making this final version of the image, Amor lightly burnished much of the plate, creating an eerie atmosphere by having an unearthly light now stream from the sky at the upper centre, illuminating the entire scene.
- Figure – male, Sea, Storm, Stormy sea
Record last updated 09/02/2021