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Nathan Forster

Inspired by my own coastal environment, I have created sculptures that celebrate local industry and the skills associated with sailing and maritime tradition. Addressing the question, “How do traditional skills connect us to our environments?”, my work for this exhibition evokes and imitates traditional rigging components to showcase my own heritage and how localised traditional skills can connect us to the landscape around us.

The creative journey for this piece starts with my own connection to my home of Portsmouth. I began to explore the ties between tradition and landscape, creating a work that is celebratory of how the environment has shaped the identity of both the city and how I identify with it. I feel connected to the landscape by the way the environment affords traditional maritime industry to its inhabitants; how the characteristics of the landscape, its geography, suggests to its inhabitants a means to live.

By exploring elements of traditional nautical construction such as rigging and wooden boatbuilding, I created this assembly of varying components typical in sailboats. Through learning how these components all work in tandem and immersing myself in Portsmouth’s maritime history I have strengthened my understanding of my home and myself.Creating these usually wooden components out of steel, I’ve adapted the local skills of my environment to my learned skill of forging. This has allowed me to further explore my own process and develop my own voice to create a statement about landscape and how traditional skills can strengthen our environmental ties.