In Search of a New World

This exhibition features artwork by residents of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight and forms part of the Mayflower 400 programme.

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing from Southampton bound for the New World. The journey was a key event in the shaping of world history – with both negative and positive impacts. Locally, Mayflower 400 is an opportunity to celebrate Southampton, a city and a community, built on journeys and migration.

To mark Southampton’s role in this momentous event, we invited artists to respond to the themes of journey, migration and the sea – all subjects that have helped to build Southampton and put the City at the forefront of many national and world changing moments.

I am delighted that my paintings ‘Song of the Siren’ 1, 2 and 4 were selected. The ‘Song of the Siren’ paintings are part of a series based, in part, on the notion of the Siren from Ancient Greek mythology. The Sirens use their exquisite song to lure sailors to wreck their ships on the rocks after falling in love with their beauty and song, and consequently taken to their death. They are also loosely inspired by the ‘Song to the Siren’ by Tim Buckley and then later This Mortal Coil. Painted from the viewpoint of someone immersed in the sea rather than from the safety of the shore, these paintings are both enticing and beautiful, yet laced, perhaps, with an unsettling menace that reminds us of the unpredictability and force of nature.

Explore the whole exhibition here at Southampton City Art Gallery.