Katrina Moorhead, ‘An encroachment of Old ocean’, 2012-2015, Inman Gallery

The drawing, 'An encroachment of Old ocean' is a visual plan, or an abstracted map, that includes only man-made structures which have disappeared from the Galveston beachfront over the last century (and beyond) due to extreme weather - tropical storms, hurricanes, etc. I gathered information in the form of maps and plans of these built, repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt structures. The work includes the many bathhouses and pagodas created as beachfront attractions that were/are built on pilings, as that is where a lot of the romantic and aspirational quality of Galveston was/is, in my opinion. This new 'document' includes the many various iterations of Murdoch's pier, the Balinese Room, the Surf Bath House, etc. The intention of the work is to speak of aspiration, optimism and defiance. It is kind of like a 'ghost map'.

The work, although simple in appearance, was created after much research using, majorly, plans issued by the Sanborn Map Company. (Sanborn Maps is an American publisher of historical and current maps of US cities and towns that were initially created to estimate fire insurance liabilities.)

The title of this work on paper is in reference to actual words used to describe the events of the 1900 storm, as written by an eyewitness of that hurricane. I enjoyed the understated, and seemingly respectful, description of what was undoubtedly a very violent event.

About Katrina Moorhead