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I was asked to produce a painting for a dive buddy of mine, Simon Farley, to go above his fireplace at home. The brief was very open... 'something a bit old' as other paintings in the room reflected this theme, such as an old farm yard with a decaying tractor and vintage cars. Also required a link to the sea, which, as a keen wreck diver, he had a prolific love of. I had a few ideas, some even a bit abstract, but eventually settled on an interpretation of the magnificent WW1 wreck of the M2, lying in 32 metres in Lyme Bay, in sight of Portland Bill. We had both dived it together many times with our other buddy Nic Snook, and had a fascination with this unusual wreck that was the first (and only) British submarine to carry a reconnaissance biplane in a hanger in front of the conning tower.
the first (and only) British submarine to carry a reconnaissance biplane
I built up a series of sketches from my own recollection of the wreck, some technical plans I located on the interweb and video footage that I was able to watch online. It is impossible to get a full view of the wreck as I have painted it as visibility, even on a good day, would not allow you to see the whole of the wreck! I want to make it personal to Simon so given the grey, bluish green of the ambient light I am using to dominate the work I will have him placed exploring the wreck, which will give an essential sense of scale and allow his torch beam to illuminate and bring out colour in the foreground.