Sail Painting

2015

A large-scale site-specific installation (2015) that originally hung in the atrium spaces, over three storeys in front of the Royal Shakespeare Companies Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Sail Painting consists of 30 or so used sails, alongside sails formed from old sacks used to trade food stuffs from around the world. The sails hang at various angles and levels in the multi-level building thereby playing with the perspectives of the viewer's different vantage points. It was as if the viewer was walking inside a three-dimensional abstract painting.

The piece was one of the results of a year long Residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company (2014-15) where as well as researching and responding to the plays Othello and The Merchant of Venice Stockwell also explored the hidden activities that take place backstage from costume making and rigging to the carefully choreographed activity that takes place during a live performance. Working with the RSC in response to such great material inspired a strong body of new work. The  commission concluded with the exhibition SEA-MARKINGS (April-September 2015), which included a version of Sail Away (paper money & map boats), smaller framed works, textiles and drawings as well as 'Sail Painting'. Susan is particularly gratefull for the support in the installation of Sail Painting (March 2015) of Andy Williams and John Cowley the best technicians and engineers in the world!


Sail Painting was included in and reconfigured for Stockwell's solo exhibition Sweet Plumbs at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London (2015) and The Sea is the Limit a major group exhibition curated by Vavrava Shavrova for York City Art Gallery (2018) part of which was also shown at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art (2017) and Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar (2019).

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Susan Stockwell