Studio Gallery: Steffie Richards ‘Ebb and Flow’

7th August 2021 - 4th September 2021

Steffie Richards

Ebb and Flow


This body of work was made possible and supported by an Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts Award.

The paintings are all relative to an idea, exploring my relationship with Coastal Cornwall and just what it is that draws me to the St Ives bay area again and again…

Finding myself becoming totally entranced by the environment when visiting coastal Cornwall, as an artist I started to question just what it was that drew me here; frankly – I still cannot identify this but I do recognise how strong this is.

During my time here, I am utterly entranced watching the waves breaking along the shoreline, the beautiful emerald green colours existing just for a moment before being replaced by the next wave.

I am delighted too, to discover what patterns the last tide has left behind on the beach, their shapes and degree of definition is fascinating to me.

It is a beautiful thing, to experience the physicality of being here, the notion of feeling grounded by simply standing on the beach looking out across the great vista of the ocean and realising how insignificant and powerless we are against its mighty force – amplified too, by the special light which falls upon this area and making such an experience nothing short of magical.

Starting to form an idea for my project wasn’t the easiest of tasks as there is so much material here to base it upon; but just photographing all that interested me made me able to pin down what it was that I found amazing here – the tide itself and the residual formations and patterns sculpted upon the shore after each residing tide.

I started to think about how often the tides ebbed and flowed, bringing forth new formations and then erasing them again, and how I could represent this through painting and create a body of work from it.

Considering everything to have its own aura rather than a definitive edge, I aim to represent this transience – although always changing, and never the same again to capture moments of this transition.

My project grew simply from these aspects and keeping in mind the techniques I use in my practice my aim was to elevate this “something” that I feel remarkably goes unnoticed – as we tend to consider the sea as just ‘present’ when it is actually forever transient – rising and falling twice daily with remarkable timing and the realisation that where we walk on the beach, will twice daily also become the seabed and take on a totally different underwater world.



– Steffie Richards