Great Catch

Completed: November 14, 1993
Image size: 22⅛” x 31¾”
Edition of 250
Paper: Velin Arches blank Mould-made 100% rag, Acid-free
Serigraph, 47 colors printed



Artist’s notes

The story deals with Peter and his friends who have been fishing all night; they are tired and have not caught any fish. Someone on the beach calls out: “Put down your nets one more time. Don’t give up yet.”

They put down their nets and they catch so many fish that the nets are almost breaking! Morning comes. They are on the beach to sell and share their catch with their neighbors. They cook and eat with the stranger who called out to them.

To me, this story is rich in symbols and ideas. It is about our search for life. We go through the darkness of night, experiencing our discouragement, sometimes wanting to give up. Then we hear a voice within, or a friend or mentor says, “Try again.” In this story we learn about work, patience, waiting, and trying hard. We are reminded, too, of the inexhaustible resources within each of us.

The image projects unity in the almost circular net. The teeming fish and waves forma variety of colorful patterns almost quilt-like. The sun is the symbol of light and life. The sunlight reflects on the clouds, the sail, and the faces of the fishermen. They are weary yet surprised and excited to see this abundance of fish of every size and color. In the upper right corner, the moon pulls in her net of star to symbolize the night leaving. In the center, the sun rises as the birds soar above the boat.

Printing GREAT CATCH helped me to accept struggles and to appreciate the casting of my own net into the waves, and the surprise of experiencing the fruit and abundance that are there.

John August Swanson