Inspired by one of the most influential poems in the English language, The Rime of The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Mariner looks at what connects us across history and the present, from the desire to travel – to journey out and back again – to the role of intuition and imagination, the making of mistakes and the process of recovery and redemption through knowledge and understanding. Mariner showcases a series of new commissions and artworks that consider the contemporary resonance of the poem.
Mariner marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower from the UK to the United States of America in 1620. This exhibition brings together artists and scientists to tease out what we might learn from the past whilst exploring the most pressing of issues that the poem seems to speak to in the present day, including marine pollution, migration, hidden histories and human vulnerability and isolation. In this way, Mariner is an epic tale retold for a 21st-century audience, with an urgent ecological message whereby we all become the mariner.
Mariner is curated by Sarah Chapman, Angela Cockayne and Philip Hoare and is delivered by The Arts Institute and The Box, Plymouth partnership, in association with Andrew Brownsword Gallery, University of Bath and John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton.
This exhibition was first presented at The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth. After Bath, this national touring exhibition will then visit: John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton 2 May–4 July 2020