Seal Shark Bay

A few years ago, I travelled to the East Coast of Tasmania camping directly in front of this spot. Wearing full length wet suits with gloves, booties and a hood we paddled out into the surging potentially shark infested waters. My friends caught the first waves and as if on cue, about 50 metres out from me, the unmistakable black triangular dorsal fin of a White Pointer breached the surface, followed by its tail a few meters behind. It submerged like a submarine and I began the most harrowing paddle in of my life. My friends refused to believe what I had seen saying ‘it must be one of those Seal Sharks!’ Later at the pub, local fishermen confirmed reports of a five metre White Pointer hanging around the bay. Despite a close encounter with an apex predator, I have fond memories of this trip. Seal Shark Bay is a spooky, unruly sort of a place, exactly what you would expect to find on the rugged and wild West Coast of Tasmania. This painting contains an image of the wave at Seal Shark Bay enclosed by expressive mark making which reflects the felt experience of being in that particular landscape. The palette is muted grey / green and earthy tones which are taken directly from my memory of the way the landscape appeared on that day.

Janis Clarke


Oil on linen