Mayflower 400 Southampton

Southampton City Art Gallery

Cover Image: Rise and Shine – Again by Alice McKee. Acrylic on canvas

In Search of a New World – Open Exhibition 2020

For the 2020 biennial ‘open exhibition’, Southampton City Art Gallery invited artists, amateur and professional, across Hampshire to create new artworks responding to the themes of journeys, migration and the sea, for a Mayflower 400-themed exhibition.

In Search of a New World launched to coincide with the anniversary of the day the Mayflower and her sister ship the Speedwell left Southampton 400 years ago. The City has been at the forefront of many such world changing moments, the consequences of which have been both positive and negative.

There were over 450 thought-provoking responses, across many mediums from painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and filmmakers interpreting these themes in a variety of original and innovative ways.

The works featured in this digital exhibition were selected by judges:

Clare Mitchell – Curator of Art at Southampton City Art Gallery

Lucy Ash – British Abstract painter whose work ‘Iris 02’ was recently acquired in to Southampton’s permanent collection.

Robert Peters – Mashpee Wampanoag artist, writer and poet.

In Search of a New World can now be seen online on Southampton City Art Gallery’s website.

Image: Douglas Robertson,Emigrants – Wake, Carved painted wood on board

Shadows and Light

Curated by Professor Stephen Foster, Shadows and Light brings together works of contemporary art which relate to light as subject matter. Featuring photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and installation, the exhibition also includes works from Southampton’s fine art collection.

The exhibition title is taken from the Joni Mitchell song, Shadows and Light (1971), which declares that ‘Every picture has its shadows, And it has some source of light….’.  The illuminating properties of colonial settlements casts deep and dark shadows over the world they have helped to forge. The European settlers brought new diseases to the Wampanoag people, whose population had been decimated prior to the settlers’ arrival with the lives of half of the local indigenous population dying, probably from a smallpox epidemic. At the same time, just under half of the settlers died within the first year from the extremely harsh conditions, scurvy and other diseases. The Wampanoag formed a cautious alliance with the settlers, offering to help to grow and catch food, whilst the settlers offered protection against foes. This is generally seen as the start of America as an independent new nation.

Image: Christopher Bucklow, Tetarch GWA 11.26 1sr August 2007, Southampton City Art Gallery © The Artist

The exhibition is not about the Mayflower voyage specifically, but rather is an analogy for the voyage and arrival of the settlers, using historic and modern works of art. Sadly Shadows and Light is no longer open, however, a virtual version of this fantastic exhibition is available for free – View it online here

This is a brilliant opportunity to enjoy it from the safety and comfort of your home. Not only can you see all the works that were on display, but you will also be able to hear narration by the exhibition curator and watch short video clips as you take a virtual wander through the exhibition.

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Roger Ackling, Adam Barker Mill, David Batchelor, Christopher Bucklow, Susan Derges, Ceal Floyer, Mona Hatoum, Dan Holdsworth, Peter Joseph, Brad Lachore, Michael Kidner, Elizabeth Magill, Bridget Riley and David Ward.

Image: Dans Holdsworth, Blackout 13, 2010. Southampton City Art Gallery © The Artist

Young People’s Open Exhibition 2020

In 2020, students from Southampton schools were invited to creatively respond to the themes of journey, migration and the sea using their own choice of media.

This exhibition, features work from students at Bitterne Park School, The Polygon School and Woodlands Community College. View the exhibition here.

Image: Underwater enchantment by Molly – Woodlands Community College, Year 7. 

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