Porcelain Xiphosura originated from several sources of inspiration. The idea of combining a horseshoe crab with traditional blue and white pottery motifs developed from reading Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam.
The book details an expedition off the coast of Vietnam in a typhoon-prone stretch of water to salvage a shipwreck containing over 250,000 traditional Vietnamese fine china.
The idea of so many beautiful blue and white treasures buried beneath layers of ocean conjured romantic images of an unforgiving sea reclaiming the beauty of the porcelain for its own. The sea has often been a wide expanse for absorbing man-made waste. The idea of these items becoming apart of the ocean ecosystem is not a new concept, but perhaps in this scenario it could be beautiful rather than destructive.
While painting, I enjoyed the thought of the saturation divers arriving at the sea bed in search of treasure only to be greeted by ivory crustaceans covered in brilliant blue designs. I imagine these new living artifacts would have just as likely made their way back to the surface and into the hands of collectors and museums.
The painting is watercolor with minor outline details in color pencil. The painting was done in a trompe l'oeil style. The high level of detail was meant to create the illusion that a three dimensional horse shoe crab hangs on the wall. Due to limited experience and access to ceramics, I was unable to create a proper sculpture; however, this could present a unique opportunity for collaboration in the future.