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Stuart Brisley: Crossings

(2008) Stuart Brisley: Crossings

Record type: Art Design Item


Crossings offers a compelling account of two famous 20th century maritime tragedies, the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912 and MV Estonia in 1994.

The exhibition features new works by British artist Stuart Brisley. Touching Black Ice is a sound installation exploring the legacy of the Titanic. Centred around a full-size sailing boat, emotive soundscapes interweave with interpretations of oral testimony from Titanic survivors. The boat forms a symbolic centre-piece, a vessel charged with catastrophic significance. (The boat is a beautiful hand-made 'Wagtail' dinghy loaned by Hampshire-based Salterns Boatbuilders - see below for more details.

Elsewhere a new film, Estonia, retraces the circumstances surrounding the more recent Baltic disaster. Revisiting the embarkation points and sea routes of the MV Estonia, Brisley combines filmed footage with his own spoken narrative describing the event. The film is interspersed with diagrammatic imagery of the ferry’s final movements, combined with chilling radio exchanges between the sinking Estonia and approaching ships.

The exhibition examines how these disasters reflect the anxieties of the age in which they occurred. The Titanic, with the loss of 1523 lives after leaving the port of Southampton on its maiden voyage in 1912, shattered the belief that the machine age would conquer nature. And in 1994 the sinking of the MV Estonia Ferry in the Baltic Sea, with 852 lives lost, has been surrounded by conspiracy theories of military involvement.

The exhibition provides a compelling account of two events that shook the world at the beginning and end of the 20th century.

Stuart Brisley (1933- ) has been a prolific contributor to the British and international art scene since the 1960s as an artist, writer and educator, whose highly-politicised practice encompasses performance, object making, film and installation.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2008
Additional Information: The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication with essays by Stuart Brisley, Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery, Andrew Wilson, Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art, Tate, and Anders Härm, Curator, Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia. The book will be launched on 3 April - see events for more details.Stuart Brisley: Crossings is a John Hansard Gallery exhibition supported by The Henry Moore Foundation and the Oral History Unit, Southampton City Council. Sailing boat kindly loaned courtesy Salterns Boatbuilders, Bursledon, Hampshire. Commissioned Exhibition funded by the Henry Moore Foundation and Touring to Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia.
Organisations: Winchester School of Art, Professional Services


Local EPrints ID: 210775
PURE UUID: 6c9241a1-e1c9-449f-9ccb-7385b0a1e31c

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Date deposited: 16 Feb 2012 16:31
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:45

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Curator of an exhibition: Stephen Foster

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