A sculptural installation made from paper currency, maps, travel tickets and copper coins, concerned with issues of migration and borders, trade, social geography, mapping and material culture.
Trade Winds developed out of Sail Away initially shown in TATE Modern's Turbine Hall (2013) as part of the Hyperlink Festival. The flotilla of boats weaves across the sea of coins as if on a journey to elsewhere. Though the mass of currency resembled a sea, the coins' edges formed the suggestion of a continent. Questions raised were; is it an ocean or is it land? Are the boats contained or free? Is there a border or a wall? Is the money enabling or restricting? The sheer physical amount of money provoked a dramatic response from audiences. During the course of all the exhibitions people were very enthusiastic about the work, adding their coins, making stories about scenarios for the boats, asking how much money's there, where it's from and how much does it weigh? Addressing issues of trade, migration, financial markets, value and the history of seafaring nations travelling the globe for trading purposes, this piece asks pertinent questions that are especially relevant to today's migrant crisis and our Brexit conundrum. The work provides a quiet space for reflection in which to enjoy the playful, tactile objects whilst also provoking questions about our relationship to money and how it shapes our fragile world. It invites us to see moneys' role beyond our everyday familiar relationship with it.
First made at Hall Place & Gardens, Kent, Oct 2016 - March 2017 and then shown at York Art Gallery in the exhibition The Sea is The Limit, May–Sept 2018 and then at St. Peter's Church, Cambridge, Sept-Oct 2019 as part of 'Migrant Knowledge: Early Modern and beyond', an event organised by the ERC-funded project Crossroads of Knowledge (15-17 September 2019), based at CRASSH and the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. The images are from all three locations. Photographs by Simona Pesche, Steve Hickey & Paula Beetlestone - with thanks. See the books, The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art & Art After Money, Money After Art (Writing/Books & Catalogues section of this website) that feature, Trade Winds & Sail Away.