Tuesday, December 28, 2010


 Gyotaku shrimp on chiri

 After the collapse of the cod fishery in 1992, shrimp fishing became the industry for Newfoundland fisherpeople until this news on shrimp quotas hit this fall, affecting future harvests.

Newfoundland and Labrador's fishing industry is bracing for a big hit as shrimp quotas in the area known as 3L are being reduced by as much as 40 per cent.

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization is reducing the total allowable catch (TAC) from this year's level of 30,000 tonnes to19,000 tonnes next year and then to 17,000 tonnes in 2012.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/10/05/nl-shrimp-quota-105.html#ixzz19SRo4Oo8
What has this got to do with art?  Well, as I secured my first whole shrimp the other day for gyotaku printing, news like this impacts me and makes me wonder if I am recording what could be a slowly dying industry or slowly dying species.

So many species are becoming endangered and access more and more limited, making a living from the sea seems to be a daunting task.  Except for a few weeks of the year, people here are not even allowed to catch an ocean fish for dinner. 

I am allergic to shellfish, even though I've eaten it all my life.  My allergies are usually restricted to eating them, but in handling them yesterday, I was getting some physical reaction to the smell and perhaps some element of them transferred to eye/mouth when I took off gloves to adjust positioning, etc.  So today, I'm armed with gloves and face mask as a precaution.  It may be overkill, but I remember the reaction to shellfish enough to take these precautions and shrimp, of all crustaceans, is considered the most allergenic. 

I printed these shrimp on chiri paper and am still working out composition for them.   My concept is a sort of acrobatic display of shrimp tumbling in varying positions down a sheet of paper.  These are simple, fossil like prints with the only addition being the eye of the shrimp.


Katherine Tyrrell said...

They look great! I love the way the bits in the paper give the impression of the shrimp chomping away on what they like to eat.

How did the protection work outin the end?

Jeanette said...

Thanks Katherine. Yes, I wanted the paper to showcase them in their simplest form.

The precautions seem to have worked, so a few more shrimp will hit the paper tomorrow and I'll have the final composition in place - touch wood.

Billie Crain said...

Your shrimp prints look amazing, Jeanette. I love the colors you chose, too.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Billie. They are cute little things and I'm pleased they gave good impressions on this paper. I figured red would work well, especially against their jet black eyes.

Anonymous said...

I love your shrimp Jeanette...like your fish prints, these too are great and will make such lovely series! Sorry for the effects of the shrimp, it will be a pity if it going to be too strong for you to really dig into this as a series? Maybe masks and gloves?

Jeanette said...

Ronell, I have used gloves continually now and a face mask and that seems to work for me, so more shrimp will be printed.

I think of them as little clowns turning somersaults in the ocean. I keep thinking about the 'sea monkeys' magazines used to advertise as 'pets' for children in the 1960s. They were some type of shrimp I believe...now that has me thinking again.

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

This is brilliant. Bravo!

Yelena Shabrova said...

Lovely little shrimps and look great on that paper! I am glad the protection worked for you, my allergies are so strong I would not even try to work with fish. You surely know that, but just in case: allergies migrate between related stuff, please stay safe at all times with gloves and mask.