Ship To Shore: Art and the lure of the sea

We went to see this exhibition at the John Hansard Gallery.  It is an exhibition that is spread over two venues in Southampton (I haven’t yet seen the other half of it, but I do plan on going to see it). I had never heard of an exhibition being in two venues at the same time but I can understand why they did this after listening to the talk by Ros Carter, the head of exhibitions for the John Hansard Gallery.

Ship To Shore was curated by Dr Jean Wainwright in collaboration with SeaCity Museum and the John Hansard Gallery.

The work at the John Hansard gallery was by Isaac Julien, Catherine Yass, Chris Burden and Thomas Joshua Cooper. The work by Isaac Julien and Catherine Yass were film installations. I enjoyed watching them, however they did make me feel slightly sea sick in parts. I didn’t really understand exactly what they were trying to get across but I thought that they went very well together.
The photographs by Thomas Joshua Cooper were beautiful! I really liked them and when I got home immediately did some more research on him and his photography.
The Chris Burden area of the exhibition didn’t really seem like it fit in. However, Ros Carter said that it was always intended to be part of this half of the exhibition. I didn’t really understand what the work actually was – was it the boat that was built, or what it actually did? Or was it his writing about what happened? I found this quite an interesting question but didn’t really enjoy looking at the area of the exhibition that housed his work.

Ros Carter said that this exhibition had been planned and put together over a period of 2 years. I didn’t realise that it had taken this long, but it made sense when I thought about how carefully they would have to select pieces of work that not only fit the brief of the exhibition, but also went together as a cohesive exhibit.

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  1. A fascinating exhibition, Felicity. The sea provides so many photographic opportunities. I plan to photograph sea stacks in Scotland this year. Thomas Joshua Cooper is a remarkable photographer, it’s nice to know you like his work.

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