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By the sea
Merete Steinvik Haugen

By the sea



Title: By the sea
Year: 2021
Size: 360x160cm (12 pieces each 60x80 cm)
Technique: Acrylics and pigments on canvas


The work «By the sea» is based on the poem «By the sea» by Emily Dickinson, each of the 12 paintings (60x80cm) tells the story of two lines each (top paintings 1-6 and bottom paintings 7-12). Emily Dickinson made this powerful poem about the sea without never seeing the seanherself, so she is telling a powerful tale about something most people know well, but to her was a mystery. The totality of the work is about this imagination, and about the power of nature, both as stunning beauty and as a danger if not respected. The little dog can be seen throughout the stories unfolding in the paintings.

«By the sea»

I started early, took my dog
And visited the sea
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me

And frigates in the upper floor
Extended hempen hands
Presuming me to be a mouse
Aground, upon the sands

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe
And past my apron and my belt
And past my bodice too

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion's sleeve
And then I started too

And he — he followed close behind
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, — then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl

Until we met the solid town
No man he seemed to know
And bowing with a mighty look
At me, the sea withdrew

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