The Floor Show

Fish Factory, Brighton Road, Worthing – from June 2014

We have a show at the Fish Factory – unusual, because it is about the restaurant floor!


Perhaps it was the wine, but a few weeks ago we began a conversation about how interesting the Fish Factory floor had become. We heard that it was shortly to be replaced and a project was born.

I started to crawl around on the floor, making rubbings on paper of the distinctive shapes that had developed on the floor boards.



Paul Martin started to draw the markings and their associations.


Barry Williams saw the rich colour and took photographs.

bandp at work

The floor bore the marks of more than ten years of us, the customers, walking in and out and moving our chairs around. It bore the marks of the many thousands of journeys the staff have made, carrying our fish and other food. It bore the marks of tables being moved as groups of people came and went. The floor embodied the history and character of it’s life – but was worn out!


This is the rubbing that the photo above shows me making, between two more rubbings that I made on restaurant menus using one of their table candles. Many of the rubbings were in transparent wax and I used inks and watercolour in my studio to bring out the grain marks before mounting the pieces to frame for the show.


This work celebrates the old floor and the rich marks it developed through service. There are references to the origins of the wood in the grain patterns and to the scars it developed as a floor. We miss it!



About vivmartin1

Viv is an artist and educator based on the south coast of England.
This entry was posted in Art, exhibition, monotypes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Floor Show

  1. cimyart says:

    Hi Viv and Paul, I wish I could see your show! Just thought of you two yesterday as I came across an old Sotheby’s catalogue (20th C. Italian Art, London 20 Oct. 2008 # LO8624) given to me by a client. There are six pages devoted to work of Marino Marini along with a black and white photo of his studio!
    I love old wood floors and was able to use reclaimed tobacco barn oak when I replaced the carpet in my home. Thank you for posting this Viv!

  2. Getting paid in fish’n’chips, Viv?

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