Invisible Dust

London | Sunday 22 September
Pollution level: Moderate

Offshore: artists explore the sea

© Nekton Mission and VRTÜL: the submersible that took author China Miéville on a 300m descent into the deep ocean, Bermuda expedition, 2016

Artist new commissions: Saskia Olde WolbersMariele NeudeckerBadgers of BohemiaKasia MolgaMartin Parr, Bik Van Der Pol, Phil CoyJohn Wedgwood-Clarke and Rob Mackay, Jonathan Baldock and Ian J Brown and new essay by author China Miéville 

Artist works: Tacita DeanJohn SmithAdam ChodzkoAlexander Duncan, Tania Kovats, David MaloneVerena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Emily RichardsonShimabukuZineb Sedira, Lawrence Lek

Works from Hull Maritime Museum and Ferens Art Gallery collections:

A selection of British and North American Scrimshaw, Dorothy Cross, Barbara Hepworth, John Loker, Henry Redmore, Bridget Riley, John Amhurst Selby-Bigge, John Keith Vaughan, Willem van de Welde II

The exhibition: 

Offshore: artists explore the sea was curated by Invisible Dust and took place at Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Maritime Museum from 1st April till 28th August 2017 as part of Hull UK City of Culture. It examined the many contrasting ways that the sea has shaped our culture, our imaginations and our physical existence through mythical sea monsters, superstition and seaside traditions as well as trade and travel. While inherently without borders, we have mapped the sea for exploitation, geo-political advantage and for conservation.

Ten new commissions were produced specially for Offshore, including works developed in conversation with leading marine scientists. Existing works by contemporary artists were selected for their related insights into the sea.

The works were presented across Hull Maritime Museum and the Ferens Art Gallery. At the Museum, artworks found a new meaning in relationship to historic maritime collections where artists intervene within the museum displays. At the Ferens, maritime paintings from the fine art collection gained a new perspective within this contemporary exhibition.

Unlike the surface depictions of the sea found in traditional maritime painting, contemporary artists in this exhibition were given the opportunity to look beneath the waves: the writer China Miéville explored the ocean depths of Bermuda in a submersible to write an essay, and artist Phil Coy joined a fishing boat out of Bridlington Harbour to create a new film.

Our treatment of the sea threatens its health: climate change, coral bleaching, toxic waste and flooding are some of the issues that artists explored through their work. This and a complex web of ownership, trade and migration provided a wider background to the exhibition.

Offshore is part of season two of Hull UK City of Culture 2017,  Roots and Routes and also included a Symposium ‘Sounding the Sea’ 15 – 16 June, Ferens Art Gallery and University of Hull, with Steven Bode.

More info on the exhibition: Download a print friendly exhibition guide

Part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. #Offshore17, #soundingthesea 

 ‘Offshore: artists explore the sea’ was produced by Invisible Dust in partnership with Hull Culture and Leisure and was supported by Hull Culture and Leisure, Arts Council England, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Hull University and the Wellcome Trust Sustaining Excellence Award.

‘Offshore: artists explore the sea’ an introduction from Invisible Dust on Vimeo.