This exhibition of our time brings maritime artworks, diaries, literature and personal objects together to explore the themes of isolation and connection, from the past up to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reflecting on life at sea, on oil platforms, lighthouses and islands, the exhibition considers the parallels between isolation at sea and Lockdown, what makes us feel ‘connected’ and how creativity has been so significant through periods of separation.
The exhibition draws on the Scottish Maritime Museum’s national art and maritime heritage collections. Artworks include Kate Downie’s ARI Mural Design No.1 (1988), inspired by her residency on Total Oil Marine’s North Sea Alpha B Oil Platform; The Loss (1990) by Joyce Cairns in which, as with many of her works, the dominant female figure plays the leading role as a luring siren of hope, fear, death, loneliness or loss; Frances Walker’s Leaving Roan (2000), an island deserted since 1938; and Arthur Watson’s twin screenprints, Harbour Lights (1991).
The exhibition events programme features sea shanties and storytelling, creative writing and painting workshops.
The Scottish Maritime Museum’s national maritime-related art collection, which was unveiled in June 2018, includes oil paintings, watercolours, sketches, photography, sculpture and mixed media by artists including John Bellany, FCB Cadell, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Muirhead Bone, Kate Downie, George Wyllie, Tom McKendrick and Benno Schotz.
Establishing the art collection was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme and support from Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions.