'Shipwreck'. Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer Gallery, London. 13 January – 3 March, 2002
Curated by Zelda Cheatle, well-known photographic gallerist, curator and publisher, the Shipwreck series was exhibited by invitation in Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer’s City gallery. A leading international law firm with 28 offices in 18 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the USA, Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer, is a major investor and collector of art and photography. Their permanent collection houses work by internationally renowned photographers e.g. Fay Godwin, Humphrey Spender, Roger Mayne, George Rodger, Wolfgang Suschitzsky, and John Davies.
My research into shipwrecks was inspired by Tag Gronberg’s writing ('The Titanic: An Object Manufactured for Exhibition at the Bottom of the Sea') in which I looked at the wreck in terms of “mesmeric dissolution from culture into Nature…. a peculiarly modern sublime object” (Material Memories, Design and Evocation, ed. Marius Kwint, 1999).
Essentially my research is concerned with the depiction of archaeological traces and fragments of human existence that are emblematic of remembrance and mourning. The series of carefully constructed photographs explores the shipwreck as a metaphor of transition from life to death, seen as relic, monument, and repository of memory. This work alludes to an interior psychological state, that artist Joan Brassil refers to as an ‘inland sea’. Thus the skeleton ships’ transition from sea to land constitutes a rite of passage, which is the essence of the work.
Fourteen images were produced as hand printed C-type photographs sized at 20 “x 24”. Further recognition of this body of work was reflected in the purchase of six images by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for its permanent collection.