This is a trial proof of an etching plate that was later editioned in another state. The difference between this trial proof and the main edition is that the fish inside and entering the fish trap are embossed only as opposed to being embossed and coloured. This subtle difference makes it unique and eminently collectable.
On the artist’s island of Badu and on a number of the uninhabited islands close by are an abundance of fish traps. These are constructions of rock walls that are submerged at high tide but exposed at low tide thereby enabling the capture of an abundance of marine creatures.
At low tide the easily seen fish are speared, however many secret themselves in the rock walls. In order to harvest these a narcotic liquid called Sazi, made from the root of a particular plant, is introduced into the water.
This temporarily stuns the fish, octopus and other edible marine species.
The location of the traps and positing of the rock walls is far from haphazard. The islander’s intimate knowledge of the sea and the behaviour of the creatures that inhabit it, their feeding patterns and habitat are all considerations that are taken into consideration in the construction of these traps.
The embossed and lightly coloured fish can be seen entering and trapped in the rock enclosure.