Nick Hackworth

Jason Martin - The Roaring Forties

Publications The Fine Art Society

Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with a show of works by Jason Martin held September 15-October 7 2010. Texts by Nick Hackworth and Charles Hawton. Includes exhibition and studio views.

The Roaring Forties is a name given by sailors to the latitudes between 40°S and 50°S, because of the powerful prevailing westerly winds that dominate them. With less landmass to slow them down, the winds are especially strong in the Southern Hemisphere, notably in the South Indian Ocean. The winds of the Roaring Forties played a significant part in the route sailed by clipper ships between Europe, the Far East and Australasia.


Malacca Straits
2°21'36.82"N / 101°21'58.76"E

It begins with pressure that grows, imperceptibly at first, hidden in the heat and the stillness, but escalates... relentlessly / with overwhelming power / All the vast sky becomes an oppressive weight, pushing you down / foreboding fills the air / a general but implacable threat of limitless scale... storm clouds gather in the distance, extinguishing the horizon / wind rises, gathering force / waves grow // the surface of the water is no longer a surface but chaos / the darkness closes in and becomes total // and then the full force storm breaks upon you // wind and wave rise up and crash down / hammer blows / unceasing / relentless...

In this blackness, where there is no light and no colour, no stars or sun / you are alone / All reference points are erased / you know, in your gut, that you are not meant to be here... in this hostile place / far from land / beyond hope / the scope of your world is reduced to nothing // you are merely a nervous system, subjected to chaos / and those moments / that seem eternal / are Hell.


23°36'22.55"N / 58°35'03.80"E

Raw Umber / the colour of clay / of civilisation / when humans shaped earth and, with fire, gave it fixed form / to create vessels that would contain and preserve / allow transport and storage / cities and trade / the colour of economics / of writing / forms pressed into clay tablets / the colour of earth / in the end everything comes from the sun and the earth...