Tracy McCoey

Tracy joined BPW in 2019

As you read this statement, I challenge you to count the number of breaths you take as you read. Half of the oxygen you take in will have been produced in the ocean. Water covers over 70% of the planet, and its vastness has lulled our western culture into a false sense of permanence. The health of the world ocean is at a tipping point, and the sea is sending us messages that continued abuse will result in a changed planet.

As a Marine Biologist I am interested in the connection between society and the oceans. Although we live a terrestrial life, our relationship with the sea is vital to both culture and our existence. Whereby the sea goes, so do we. As an artist, I’m experimenting with Fine Art Printmaking techniques: etching, screenprinting, lithography, to explore issues and concepts relating to our watery planet. I would like my explorations to lead to conversations that result in actions planned and taken.

My images start as photographic studies of natural marine forms, and marine environments, including the local fish market, fishing harbours, and of course the shoreline and beaches. My recent residency at Queens University Marine Laboratory has yielded a rich resource of images and ideas. I am exploring different printmaking techniques in my current work. I find marine creatures to be ‘otherworldly, and I’m experimenting with expressive figuration. The processes often become part of the narrative of the work. In my current work on coral bleaching, the process of photoetching mimics the destruction of the reefs with acid. I’ve printed the plates in black, white and grey inks depicting the loss of colour as the reef dies. Research being carried out at QUB Marine Lab has inspired me to create photoetches of the microscopic marine algae being studied as possible carbon sinks and biofuel. The ingenuity of the scientists is a starting point to tackle this serious global situation. The difference can only be made if we tackle the issues as a global community. I remain hopeful that we will recognize our responsibility to conserve and protect our marine biome.

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Sample Prints

  • Algal Flow

    Algal Flow
    Width:35cm
    Length:30cm
    Cost: 
    500
    Edition: 
    Edition of 10
  • Facing the Issues

    Facing the Issues
    Width:88cm
    Length:62cm
    Cost: 
    350
    Edition: 
    Edition of 20
    Medium: 
    Aquatint
  • Fragile Reef

    Fragile Reef
    Width:37cm
    Length:37cm
    Cost: 
    400
    Edition: 
    Edition of 10
    Medium: 
    Photo Etching
  • Message from the Reefs

    Message from the Reef
    Width:60cm
    Length:80cm
    Cost: 
    350
    Edition: 
    Edition of 30
    Medium: 
    Photo Etching
  • Sea Urchins Deconstructed

    Sea Urchins Deconstructed
    Width:42cm
    Length:69cm
    Cost: 
    120
    Edition: 
    Edition of 10
    Medium: 
    Screenprint
  • Traffic

    Traffic
    Width:80cm
    Length:50cm
    Cost: 
    300
    Edition: 
    Edition of 30
    Medium: 
    Aquatint

Works in the Archive