This installation piece evolved predominantly from the notion of the sea consuming everything in its path, breaking down and re-distributing all that it encounters.

I devised a simple visual process to work with a photographic image in a manner which mimicked the cycle of the tides.

A photographic image is printed with water-soluble inks onto blotting paper then clipped into the mechanism. The print is then slowly lowered into the tray where, over a period of several hours, it draws up water.  This causes the component parts of the image to be spread out across the paper.   Regardless of the actual photograph used, the final result is much the same with only a vestigial image remaining.

image diffusion tank final image

Image diffusion apparatus in situ @ Broomhill.
Part-processed image - one of many which were created over the course of the event.

A different image but, after processing, the result is very similar with the print showing only faint elements of its original form.

The actual diffusion process is a classic ink chromatogram and, as such, reveals more about the printing process than the image itself. However, it is to be read as a metaphor for the sea's action in grinding down, incorporating and redistributing everything that it encounters with a seemingly infinite capacity.

Over the course of the exhibition many images were processed, each causing a small amount of ink to be taken into the water tank. As time passed the water became visibly discoloured. What was initially perceived as an infinitely repeatable cycle is perhaps not so.

all images © martin winfield 1990-2007