Between Folds / British Fish

Material: A History of the Fishes of the British Islands by Jonathan Couch, F.L.S. Volume IV; 1878
168 x 112 cm.

Amassed together, under a sky of words, are the watery depths of British fish. Forming a horizon against the black and white of text, their shimmering and translucent colours sit closely between the undulating currents of folds. Every fish from the book swims beneath the text, heads and bodies rippling through the pages in a dense array of bewitching colours from the deep. Silver washes through mustard yellows, orange, green and cobalt blue, making scales metallic with its shimmering breath. Unlike the usual glimpse of slippery bodies seen darting from the surface, here they are held still before us – frozen in the piercing stare of glassy round pupils, forever watching. Such fascination and abundance is surely cause for an exclamation, the surprise of discovery in what lies beneath.