Cargo Ships

Cargo Ships Limited edition of 7 box set of 7 digital prints. 2009. 14x14cm. Digital Print on Card

The tankers, cargo, bulk carriers, and container ships that silently pass the coast where I grew up have always held a fascination for me. These ghostly hulks sit and move in groups, they follow the ebb and flow of the tides,  and shelter from storms and harsh conditions, huddling in groups.

The sight of them still intrigues me and for years I have looked upon these huge gliding structures  with romantic and ignorant eyes. Their number is constant, their crews unseen, and their proud names are blurred by spray or distance, they lie enigmatic in their purpose and drive. Rarely do you hear engines, some enter the seascape from nowhere and vanish just as quickly into the haze and grey blues of the horizon. Some sit waiting for days, coastal guardians, sea worn sentinels, hovering in the calms, out of reach, brooding, yet still at the mercy of the waters.

Recently I have come to understand and question their cargoes. They seem irrevocably linked with mass consumption whose waste litters our beautiful coastlines and from where I take my material to create marine debris collections and narrative texts. These lost and found objects are also at the mercy of the elements and tides, and are too mysterious in there providence and destination. Their hulls loaded, the cargo ships provide raw materials or even the objects themselves, and in a cyclical paradox for some their own existence relies on the oil or chemicals they move. The products that create our plastic tide marks are a direct result of this process of our petrochemical reliant society, whose own survival relies on the movement and processing of its raw materials and their continual consumption.

These oblivious and silent vessels will leave in their wake more than the sum of their cargo.

‘Cumbrian Fisher. MMSI: 311758000’. 2009. 14x14cm. Digital Print on Card

Text taken from the information card from this Limited edition box set of 7 digital print