Set to be one of the one of the region’s most impressive and popular exhibitions for 2014, The Power of the Sea (5 April – 6 July) demonstrates the contrasts and continuities in artists’ engagement with the sea over a period that spans more than two centuries.
To accompany the exhibition, a series of lectures from a range of speakers, renowned as experts in their field, has been programmed.
This series will explore the way historical, modern and contemporary artists have responded to the sea through their work.
Michael will be talking about a series of mixed media works that are based on an area of sea traditionally called Gwavas Lake, close to where
he lives in Mounts Bay, Cornwall. This series was originally made for an exhibition at Tate St Ives in 2001. Michael will also show a short film of him working on the images.
For centuries, the graphic depiction of shipwrecks and even the mere threat of being shipwrecked off a dangerous coastline have been compelling subjects for European artists. This lecture explores the changing meaning and handling of this ever popular and gruelling topic, from the religious and metaphorical to the sensational and sentimental.
Friday 9 May, 2pm
Dr Dorothy Rowe (University of Bristol) Crossing the Black Atlantic:Contemporary Meditations on Turner’s ‘Slavers’
This lecture will consider Joseph Mallord William Turner’s 1840 painting Throwing over the Dead and Dying – Typhoon coming on (also
known as The Slave Ship) within contemporary art historical discourses on the Black Atlantic.
Saturday 10 May, 2pm
Dr Sophie Gilmartin (Royal Holloway College) The Perils of Crossings: Nineteenth Century Navigations of the Sea
Explore the shipwreck and navigational metaphors in Dickens’s Dombey and Son, Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, the personal letters and journals of women at sea, and through 19th Century paintings.
An introduction to the artist’s work in film, video and sound; new installation work Overflow and its relation to the ‘Rough Sea’ films of the late 19th and early 20th century. The artist will talk about her film ‘Overflow’, a two screen video and sound work which obliquely references ‘Rough Sea’ films from early cinema. Such films presented wave movements towards spectators as both compelling and disorientating, at times a dynamic that appeared to break out of the screen.
This is a FREE event, supported by Arts Council England.
This lecture will consider the connections between these artists and the reasons why paintings of the open sea became so popular during these years.
Wednesday 4 June, 6.30-8pm
Dr Cathryn Pearce, (Greenwich Maritime Institute) Jibber the Kibber, Pirate Wreckers and False Lights: Wrecking in British Folklore
Dr Cathryn Pearce will introduce a new perspective by looking at several important stories to determine how they came into the folklore, what their role was, and how they became accepted as evidence of actual practice.
This lecture focusses on Turner’s lifelong engagement with the sea, from the early exhibited marine paintings that established his reputation to the final experimental canvasses that challenged his audience’s preconceptions.
This talk will review the artistic and historical significance of paintings by St Ives artists depicting the different pilchard, mackerel and herring fishing seasons that the Cornish fishermen could exploit, and looks at the relationships that formed between the artists and the fisherfolk and the extent to which the fishermen were presented as national icons.
In this talk Professor Sam Smiles will review Turner’s multifarious depictions of the sea in all its moods over five decades: from his early
pictures to his final and most haunting images produced in the 1840s.
Tickets £5, FRWA/RWA Academicians/Artist Network Members/Students £3
Special £8 ticket available, to include free exhibition entry (2pm lectures only).
Talks will last up to 90 minutes, including questions/discussion.