Local boat owners agree that the mass of underwater growth fouling their hulls in Fethiye Bay is among the worst in the world, I have always blamed the water conditions on the chemical run-off from the intensive farming in the vicinity and sewage influx. Then I was very surprised to learn that Turkey is the largest producer of farmed Rainbow trout in Europe. An aquaculture survey of 3 trout farms in the Xanthos valley provides some interesting reading including the fact that there are more than 50 trout farms in our catchment and a significant ammount of water is fed, via a canal and hydro electric power station, directly into the sea at Fethiye. The main purpose of the survey is “to predict the existing and future discharge of suspended solids, organic compounds, and nutrients, thereby allowing authorities to quantify the environmental impacts of activities with the greatest accuracy (Frier et al. 1995)”. I have estimated from this report that this means over 2000 tons of Nitrogen and 400 tons of Phosphorous are discharged every year. When you factor in the sunshine and shallow water it’s no wonder we have a problem with algae!
I was searching my memory for a subject to continue my exploration of this style of painting and I thought of one of my favourite trout fishing spots in Gwynedd. I have so many vivid memories of coming around this corner to see fish rising off the point before me. Happy days!
Kaş is a small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town, with its narrow streets scented with jasmine flowers, and a district of Antalya Province of Turkey. As a tourist town it is still relatively unspoilt. There are plenty of little guest houses, quiet cafes serving home cooking, or small bars to relax in. It has an annual arts festival, jazz concerts in the Hellenistic theatre and occasional underwater ceramics exhibitions. In the early 1990s tourism started booming in Kaş, with visitors mainly from the UK and Germany. This growth of tourism brought an explosion in apartment building and often unlicenced development, which is seriously threatening the landscape and the environment. Particularly affected is the beautiful Çukurbağ Peninsula, west of the town, where many luxury hotels have been built.
I fancied a change of scene and this painting evolved from a photograph that Gina took near our house in Barmouth, North Wales where we have lived and run a business for 23 years. Snowdonia is a landscape artist’s paradise with big skies, spectacular mountains, rivers and forests and the amazing ever changing light. But it also possesses countless beautiful nooks and crannies, rocky paths, ancient woodlands, tiny coves, ruined cottages and mossy glades. As a trout fisherman I spent countless hours absorbing the smell of wet moss, the feel of slippery rocks and the sights and sounds of falling water, intently focussed on scenes just like this, searching for signs of fish. So, in many ways, this work represents those embedded visual memories as well as the strong feelings I have about the time and place.