Screen print, gold leaf and acrylic on aluminium
Image 75 x 50cm // Framed 85 x 60cm
THE VENUS | 13 October 1758
The Venus was commissioned on 21st March 1758 during the Seven Years War. She weighed 350 tons, including 350 carriage guns. On her final journey, she sailed from sailed from Whitby. Lloyds List the ship, under Captain Fook, as sunk by Nelly's Resolution, a 30-gun Privateer (a privately owned armed vessel commissioned by a state to attack enemy ships, usually commercial vessels). The Venus was lost on the downs, but the crew was saved.
The slightly spooky history of the Goodwin Sands has always fascinated me. The sheer number of ships wrecked in this maritime graveyard is astounding.
My work for this exhibition, Wrecked, is a collection of imagined ghost portraits of captains of ships sunk on the sands reimagined as pub signs, a nod to the sheer number of pubs Deal town supported in the past. I found the names of the ships and the date they sank using Lloyds list and gilded them in large letters at the top and bottom of each piece. Using artistic licence, I reworked naval portraits of the time each ship sank, into Warholesque prints – transparent, frayed and ghost-like. I then painted seascapes on aluminium and screen printed each portrait on top the paintings. The works reference both our fascination with the past and the ship as a symbol of economic development and the nation state.
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