A two-part personal account by artist Mick Oxley…
The sea has paid a pivotal role in shaping my life and my art. Prior to 1994, I lived and worked in Bradford, West Yorkshire, with my wife and son, teaching PE/Games at an inner city middle school. Although I had grown up fairly near the sea on Tyneside, I had drifted inland to university and then to a career.
Things were about to change. After years of ill health, I was diagnosed with M.E. in 1993 and medically retired from work.
I always had a yearning to return north and we were lucky to find a small, affordable house perched 20 metres from the shoreline in Craster, a small fishing village in north Northumberland.
I was totally fascinated by the sea – its temporal rhythms and the effect it had on the daily lives of the local people. For the first few years, as I was trying to recuperate, I sat outside daily, through all seasons, transfixed by the balletic movement of the sea and the fleeting clouds and the kaleidoscopic colour changes.
By this time, my walking had been reduced to a few metres before exhaustion set in. I fought against using a wheelchair.
…read Part II to find out what happened when Mick adapted to life with a wheelchair…
You can see more of Mick’s wonderful work at his gallery: