A truly global exhibition by Charles Sturt University academic and artist Associate Professor Margaret Woodward will map and celebrate the mobile life of seafarers.
The Sea is All Around Us opens on Monday 11 May at 37 º 49'21" S 144º 57'03"E, the Dome Gallery at The Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne's Docklands.
For a fortnight, the circular Dome Gallery will become a large scale compass, with the floor marking the intersection of its latitude and longitude (37 º 49'21" S 144º 57'03"E).
Associate Professor Woodward has inscribed the gallery with marks recording journeys made by seafarers, recording destination and departure ports and home lands.
"In doing so, the installation makes visible a small segment of the global patterns of seafaring," said Associate Professor Woodward.
"It acknowledges and raises awareness of the working lives and journeys of seafarers making visible their role in transporting commodities, materials and objects to and from Australian shores."
Two-hundred custom-made souvenirs designed for the installation will be given to seafarers as gestures of welcome and receptacles for memories.
"The souvenirs, originating in Poland, will continue their journey by sea, to destinations beyond the Dome Gallery and become part of the global network of seafaring," Associate Professor Woodward said.
"The seafarers are invited to record their future journeys using QR code scanning technologies.
"It is hoped that by releasing the limited edition souvenirs, the mobile life of souvenirs will also become visible.
"Like messages in bottles, they will 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."
Margaret Woodward is an Associate Professor of Design in the Faculty of Arts at CSU in Wagga Wagga. The art installation marks the second stage of her ongoing research project. More information about the project is available here.
The Sea is All Around Us will be launched by CSU Professor of Design Craig Bremner at 2pm on Saturday 16 May at the Dome Gallery – Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street in Melbourne.
This is a project of the University's Creative Regions Lab. It has been supported by CSU, The Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne and Bendigo Wealth. The University's Institute for Land, Water and Society also provided a grant to the themes of water, the wea and maritime history.