The Sea is All Around Us

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Abstract

The Sea is All Around us is a multi-layered event which creates a memorable experience for those visiting the Dome Gallery and the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne's Docklands. The event acknowledges and raises awareness of the often difficult and dangerous working lives and journeys of seafarers by making visible their role in transporting commodities, materials and objects to and from Australia's shores. This installation at the Dome Gallery in the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne's Docklands marks the third stage of an ongoing research project which seeks to reveal the 'social life'of souvenirs. Beyond their representational role souvenirs also trigger intangible, affective qualities, reminders of journeys and places, new associations with tastes, sounds and people, and thereby becoming objects which focus and hold memories.This installation invites seafarers and visitors to participate in a global project which aims to witness sea journeys and trace the mobile life of seafarers and souvenirs. For a fortnight in May 2015, the Dome Gallery became an architectural large scale compass, with the circular floor marking the intersection of its latitude and longitude (37º 49'21" S 144º 57'03"E). Over these two weeks the Dome Gallery was inscribed with marks recording journeys made by seafarers, recording destination and departure ports, home lands and waterways, and in doing so making visible a small segment of the global patterns of seafaring. Custom-made souvenirs designed for the installation are given to seafarers as gestures of welcome and a memento of their visit. The souvenirs originating in Poland continue their journey by sea, to destinations beyond the Dome becoming part of the global network of seafaring, with an invitation for seafarers to record their future journeys using QR code scanning technologies. It is hoped that by releasing the 200 limited edition souvenirs accompanying the seafarers the mobile life of souvenirs and seafarers will also become visible. Like messages in bottles they leave our shores, becoming ambassadors, representing the Dome Gallery at the Mission to Seafarers, the waters of Port Phillip Bay, Australia's red soil and vegetation, and carrying memories of visiting Melbourne.
Original languageEnglish
TypeCatalogue accompanying art installation/design project
Media of outputPrint
PublisherDome Gallery, Mission to Seafarer's
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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