The Waddenzee Series: Contemporary Paintings by Lettie Gardiner.

These paintings are all inspired by the Waddenzee, a shallow stretch of seawater on the north coast of Germany and the Netherlands. It is a unique coastal zone and a World Heritage Site. On the outer edge of the Waddenzee is a row of islands and beyond them lies the North Atlantic. I can best describe my fascination with that part of the world by quoting the opening sentence of Jose’ Saramago's novel, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984/1991), which is: "Here the sea ends and the earth begins". This, I feel, applies exactly to the Waddenzee- both the beginning of creation and the possible demise of the world.

My paintings are inspired by the impression I have of the Waddenzee. And hence they are not landscapes or seascapes as such. If I may use a definition from Robert Hughes ( The Shock of the New 1981, p.159), they are paintings of “equivalents”.