8AA.Drawings

Drawing is thinking.

Safe Harbor Home– Entry in the Gloucester 400th Anniversary Medal design competition
The design portrays refuge and diversity in the midst of fierce natural beauty. The vital role of women in Gloucester’s story is recognized. The two sides of the design are in dialogue with each other. The ocean, calm or furious, is omnipresent in Gloucester’s story.
The obverse is the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial against the horizon. In this aspect specific traits are hidden, emphasizing the universality of the family group. In a double entendre, the figures seem to be looking through the medal, as they focus on what may be beyond the horizon. The harbor is calm.
The subject of the reverse is the sea and Gloucester’s rocky coast. The composition is tossed with movement. The gnarly oak tree and the rocks personify tenacity. The wave motif alludes to danger and also, more subtly, to the tides of immigrants who over the years have forged Gloucester’s unique character. The various boats are symbolic of eras and cultures that have come to comprise Gloucester’s thriving diversity. The text SAFE HARBOR HOME refers back to the sanctuary of the harbor, (the obverse,) and the figures’ strong pull homeward.