Author's note: 'The Sea-Blue Background' grew from my collaboration with artist Annette Iggulden, whose artwork Breath and Elegy was inspired by the story. The story's framework existed in my mind before I began working with Annette, but I kept imagining it as a work of visual, tactile art as well as a piece of fiction. In between discussions with Annette about grief and art, the story grew into its current form. Viewing Breath and Elegy for the first time was an intoxicating moment for me, with the story's words and images in the paintings being densely immersed within on another.
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