The Explorers’ Sea Turtle Voyage - Original Sculpture 2019


The story behind the artwork

This dramatic 3D sculpture was an ocean-borne piece created for a group exhibition in Paul Smith’s flagship Albemarle Street store. Linked to the earlier solo exhibition,‘The Explorers’ Voyage’, the installation weaves together both Williams’ and Smith’s fascination with maps, curiosities and adventure.

The Explorer’s Sea Turtle Voyage echoes the feats of two fearless real-life Victorian explorers, botanical artist Marianne North and naturalist Isabella Bird. Defying all expectations, these women were early explorers who spent weeks at sea, never knowing what lay ahead at the next port of call or even if they would see land again. The ship epitomises their horizon-shattering endeavours, and is celebrated as the vehicle which enabled Kristjana to metaphorically explore the harbours of the world, collecting artistic inspiration from as far East as Japan and as far back as ancient Rome.  Philosophical ideas are explored, including the emotional and physical experience of travel; the exhilarating butterflies of anticipation in your stomach, juxtaposed with head exploding cultural fatigue and jet lag.

The antique wooden ship, a skeletal framework for the piece, hails from a museum on the Isle of Wight.  Golden sea turtles have been added to its helms, and their habit of travelling vast ocean distances (up to 3000 miles) mirrors the adventures of the ship.  Cloud-like moonsails, skysails, topgallant sails, mainsails and foresails fly between towering masts.  Atop these man-made perches, nature has staked its claim in the form of exquisitely plumed birds.  All shades of the colour spectrum dazzle in swooping, seamless tail feathers.  Intricate butterfly wings fountain from the birds’ eyes and beaks. The reflective sides of the frame mirror past and future narratives: perhaps where humans once ruled, nature now prevails, and ever-evolving animals travel on ships, visiting relics of a former time...

Artwork Details

Bespoke Hand and laser cut paper collage. Digitally designed, hand sculpted paper elements are painstakingly pinned in place onto a thick foam board, creating a stunning three dimensional effect. Utterly unique in its composition and to its owner, an original artwork is one of its kind and cannot be replicated.  Your piece will be the only piece like it, anywhere in the world.

  • Framed dimensions (approximately): 154 cm x 125 cm x 51 cm
  • Bespoke wooden box frame, painted with a smooth coat of matt paint.
  • Giclée printed on Matt Smooth Fine Art Cotton 300gsm.
  • Signed by the artist.
  • Comes with a physical ‘Certificate of Authenticity’.

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