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underwater, from the project boutilier marine

The Eastern Shore Trilogy
Christopher Boyne

periwinkle blues is part III in a trilogy of projects that mark maritime sensibilities and my relationship with the ocean. The three projects that make up this trilogy are black nance, boutilier marine and periwinkle blues. The three projects used ten toy boats that I made with hulls shaped of solid wood, heavy metal keels that provided ballast and kept the boats upright in the ocean and functional rigging that allowed the boats to sail autonomously. Each of the toy models represents a real boat from my history. Some of the boats were my own—the Green Hornet and the Ernie B—while others were boats of my world, ones that I sailed on, saw in the water or heard stories about. Some were from before my time—my mother and father’s first boat the Caroline K and Lucky Strike the boat my dad was on when he caught two 800-pound tuna. Others shaped me like Tortuga a large and beautiful boat called a C&C that I was once stranded on in a storm.

Over two years, the little boats were launched in the ocean where they were left to exist in different states. The black nance was left to float at its anchor in rough conditions where the little boat was knocked by waves impossibly larger than it. The eight boats of the boutilier marine project were left at anchor to float quietly in a group reminiscent of the mooring fields common where I grew up and the periwinkle blues boat, called Lucky Strike, was tethered to a small ocean fish I caught with a periwinkle bait. The little fish pulled the equally little boat down and around in the water. These scenes were documented from above and below the surface of the water using film, video and still images. In exhibition, the projects included design plans, documentation from the construction of the models, archival documents and images, the models themselves and their related parts, video, film, sound, still images and text.

you can see the trilogy in its entirety on my website here-


— Chris Boyne