I frequently walk the Thames Path to the east or west of where I live in Rotherhithe. The South Dock Boatyard and Marina lie to the east, on a last bit of the river's undeveloped shoreline. The Boatyard, like much of London, is slated for high-rise development. I like to see the boats winched up out of the water for repairs and watch as their hulls are patched, sanded and painted. The scarred surfaces are abstract patchworks, visible until a final coat of paint covers them.
I think of the hulls of boats – as they rise and fall with the tide – as fair game for this project. The first image is a from a paint job in the South Dock Boatyard. The Royal Iris, (middle) was once a Mersey Ferry, and is now derelict on the foreshore in Woolwich, east of the Thames Barrier. And the crumbling paint (bottom) is from the deck of the SS Robin, the world's oldest complete steamship, now moored at the Royal Victoria Dock, awaiting further restoration.