Ship of the Fens

Photography project about the concept of sustainability











Project Description:
Ship Of The Fens was created and shortlisted for the ‘Cambridge School of Art and The Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) Student Sustainability Competition 2014’. The brief was to submit artwork based on our individual interpretation of sustainability and also that reflects the aims of the GSI. There was an optional sub-theme of ‘2100: The Future We Want?’

During the summer of 2014, Ship Of The Fens was exhibited at the Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge and at The 72nd World Science Fiction Conference, London. The text exhibited alongside the image read as follows:
If climate change is not addressed soon, by the start of the 22nd century East Anglia will be underwater again. This would be from sea levels rising and dramatic changes to weather patterns. Sustainability is an issue that is beyond urgent.
Are we really going to wait until the Ship of the Fens is at sea before we take climate change seriously?

The UK charity, Tearfund have expressed interest in using this image in their climate change related campaigns.

I created an eye-catching image that is not only beautiful, but encourages viewers to question how the unique East Anglian fenland will be affected by climate change. Ely and The Fens can be haunting and eerie, both in atmosphere and aesthetically, and I portrayed this in my image. To achieve this I sought to reproduce how William Turner used colour and light to create drama in his maritime paintings.

Ely Cathedral, known locally as the ‘Ship of The Fens’, viewed in new surroundings serves as a way of illustrating how changes in weather patterns and rising sea levels might affect the fenland landscape. By changing the context of the cathedral from a land-based building into a sea-faring ship, it was possible to depict the cathedral as an ark and as a place of sanctuary.

Within days of completing this project, the UK experienced severe weather conditions linked to changes in climate and weather patterns… making the message contained in Ship of The Fens seem even closer to home, and more pressing than ever before.

Project Categories:
Photography, Visual Communication

Camera RAW, Digital Manipulation, Photomontage, Photoshop, Photography, Visual Storytelling

Winter 2013