Naturalist Scallop Shell. Photography And Text By Keith R Wahl

November 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Naturalist Scallop Shell

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Naturalist Scallop Shell 20211120 850_3345Naturalist Scallop ShellA naturalist view of a scallop shell on the beach in Potowomut on Greenwich Bay in Warwick, Rhode Island

There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a day where someone will catalog my personal iconography. In that particular symbolic lexicon will be a series of scallop shells.

There is more to my relationship with the scallop shell than my years of dredging these things up. You do know what dredging is, don't you? It's a process by which you drag a dredge along the bottom with a boat. You then hoist about five hundred pounds of muck onto a culling board to find a few ounces of scallops. Then you do it again. And again.

My preferred thought of the scallop shell is naturalist paintings, usually in watercolors. They are so intricate and detailed and show every aspect of their depiction. These paintings are all business and tend to be minimalist in their nature. And they are beautiful.

The reason why I find these naturalist depictions so beautiful is their very nature. They show the natural object itself as a thing of beauty. Yes, their primary purpose is to teach. But who says that science, learning, and art cannot intersect? I would like to think that they do. And that I photograph in that same spirit.


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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original.