The central message of the painting is that of respect and dignity in front of nature as the opposing forms of the mollusks and humans observe one another beneath the surface. Although entirely different biologically to their core, the two opposing 'Clades', invertebrates/vertebrates, humans and mollusks, are expressed as the same and equal in the face of the imperceptible spans of time from our earth's history. This leads onto the paintings second theme which is that of time and the tiny and fragile place of human beings in the cosmos. The surface of the painting is devoid of figures and suggests so much time may have passed even the tectonic forces that shape the surface world have evolved and changed. On the seafloor lies remains of prehistoric animals and dinosaurs to express extinction and its role in the long and slow processes of the planet that we cannot possibly witness. The bones and dead corals also signify our destructive affect on the planet but express the disquieting fact that the earth will remain long after we have gone. The title 'MirrorClade' is meant to convey these themes and say we are no more important than the invertebrates in the ocean or the many millions of species that have come before us. With my work I like the themes to be equally matched in the composition and technical painting processes I deploy in the piece. The oval board was selected as oppose to a panoramic rectangle in combination with the colour pallet to give a sense of the planet as seen from space. The central material concept that was the driving force behind the painting was that of opposing textures. I needed to express the theme of two things being different but inextricably linked and equal, so the very contrast of the surface world and underwater world had to be strong. The very idea of having a cut out shot of the water was to express this and also homage some paleoart that inspired the painting. To make the surface and underwater scene contrast, as well as using altered colours, the fluidity of the paint was different for each scene. For the surface, un-thickened oil paint was applied directly with no thinning agent. The surface was also painted in one single layer in an impasto style to express the chalked cliffs and trees. The underwater scene was painted using layers of thinned paint and liquin gel with various layers applied and let to dry. Using layers of coloured glazes in conjunction with this gave the underwater scenes a rich yet liquid feel to both the atmosphere and surface. This hopefully led to the themes and execution of the painting to harmonize. The theme of opposing/opposite things being equal is expressed with the subject matter, composition and the material processes deployed in the painting.