Following 2009’s Aquarium from the Classroom Suite, Peter Blake continues his exploration of aquatic life complete with underwater palaces, a sunken galleon and coral reef. By enlarging the scale we are able to see every detail of this marine menagerie, to immerse ourselves as if we were one of the crowd in the foreground. Combining his interest in popular leisure activities with that of vintage illustration and collage, Blake creates a beautiful complex and richly detailed composition.
Every fish, figure creature and object in the piece are sourced and cut-out from old reference, fishing books and encyclopaedias by hand. Blake describes these “cutting” sessions as his relaxation time; he doesn’t consider it work.
‘I have a very comfortable desk in the sitting room and I sit with my back to the television – although if the football is on, I’ll turn round to watch the goal when they play it again- and cut things out or do illustrations for Under Milk Wood. It’s how I relax.”