Object Image

Saving Our Souls

This work comes from Nicola Anthony's 'Net Drawing' series. The troubled history of the Irish incorporates a long history of war and famine. Boats are an icon of Irish travels across the seas which often ended in separation from families, loss of status and identity, or death. Pan forward to the current global migrant crisis and we can draw many comparisons. The other side of the story is what happens under the water in the hidden currents of reaction: the opposing responses of either capturing and detaining these fleeing shoals of people, or helping them to safety. Nicola Anthony works with NGOs to tell stories of immigrants in her work, but her Net Drawings are a more abstract way of describing the complications of such upheavals, revealing unexpected forms. They became allegorical for the journeys we all make at one time or another, in differing levels of safety, to find a promised New World. The piece is drawn by burning the surface of calligraphy paper - the medium being the scorch marks and perforations on the paper.
incense-burned drawing on calligraphy paper
71.0 x 78.0 x 3.0 cm
© Nicola Anthony. Image courtesy of The Ingram Collection & Nicola Anthony

This work is part of The Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art and was on loan to the Lightbox for the exhibition "Redressing the balance: Women Artists from The Ingram Collection" (11 August - 20 September 2020).

It was created in response to John Behan's 'Ghost Boat' sculpture in The Ingram Collection, upon special invitation from the Royal Society of Sculptors and the The Ingram Collection.

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