The First of England, 1998 by Humphrey Ocean

The First of England, 1998

Humphrey Ocean

Fine art poster

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  • Amazing giclée print quality
  • 280gsm thick fine art print paper
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We use a 280gsm fine art paper and premium branded inks to create the perfect reproduction.

Our expertise and use of high-quality materials means that our print colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.

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Manufactured in the UK

All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.

We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.

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We print everything to order so delivery times may vary but all unframed prints are despatched within 2-4 days via courier or recorded mail.

Delivery to the UK is £5 for an unframed print of any size.

We will happily replace your order if everything isn’t 100% perfect.

The First of England, 1998 by Humphrey Ocean zoom

The First of England, 1998

The 'First of England' is a large-scale oil commission of 1998 based on sketches and photographs taken by the artist during various ferry trips around Britain. Asked to paint a picture of modern maritime Britain he turned to his perceptions of people travelling on a ferry. Ocean saw parallels with eager day trippers being conveyed back to England from a shopping trip in France and Philip Larkin's description of troops in WWI being shipped over the France. Furthermore he saw the experience of travelling on a ferry as a common one, serving as an extension of the car as well as being a floating high street. Humphrey Ocean's painting comments on the significance of sea travel for the British today, and portrays an unromantic image of the relationship of Britons with their coastline.

This scene on the English coastline gives the impression of individuals living seemingly isolated and disinterested existences. The setting of the ferry arriving at Dover offers a sense of movement though most of the people portrayed appear disinterested in their surroundings. Oblivious to each other, they behave with characteristic 'English' nonchalance. No one looks at the figure lying on the bench, not caring if he is drunk, dead or just asleep. In the tradition of post-war British pop art, the artist is able to select an object that symbolises a particular experience or collective memory. The polystyrene cup sitting in the emptied out foreground captures the resignation of drinking stale coffee, whether on a ferry or at a roadside cafe. He uses blocks of colour to convey the mood in an image where the totemic white cliffs are still able to claim dominance.
Humphrey Ocean

  • Image reference: D9948

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