As a young grommet, I kept myself entertained in rock & tidal pools around False Bay. I would dive for an entire day, playing with fish & sandsharks, starfish & urchins, sticking my fingers into anemones, but the creature that grabbed my full attention was the octopus. Attention initially out of fear, but once I learnt how to handle them, it was playtime.

Today I’m still fascinated with the octopus & will disappear for hours getting lost in my childhood. My Italian connection has exposed me to the value they contribute to the kitchen, feeding friends & family!  People give me gas for eating Octopus, but I take great pleasure in the hunt for them which is a skill honed over many years. They are a food source & my policy is we eat from the sea what she offers us on the day!  I don’t always win! I only take what I need, give back to the ocean what I don’t use. Nothing is wasted!

One day during a dive I was thinking about the ink of the octopus.  What else could I do with it instead of adding it to Risotto or making Pasta Nero? I started to think about using the ink to make images.

I ran the idea of making prints using octopus ink past my mate Prof Inggs from Michaelis School of Fine Arts.  He was stoked with the idea & invited me to come & play at Michaelis which was an absolute blessing. We made screenprints using octopus ink, but the technique which I fell in love with was the ancient form of printing called Gyotaku. The Japanese Fisherman would record their catch by making an ink print on rice paper!  An idea sparked!

Today, I make fishprints from the fish I catch using the ink from the octopus, which I catch.  I pay homage to the octopus for giving me immense satisfaction through the hunt, the culinary experience & the creative twist!  JR



HERMANUS 202064524356 

 70CM X 70CM