Knot on Call

“Knot On Call” Newhaven Lifeboat Art Wave 2021

Poems of The Sea

“Knot On Call” opened on Saturday, 11th September 2021. Though initailly planned as a four-week stay the installation has been taken on as a permanent fixture at The Sidings Newhaven. 

I collaborated with RNLI Newhaven to create a site-specific installation for the Newhaven Community Courtyard space at Sidings Bistro. Part of Art Wave festival 2021.

The installation explores the emotional nature of the sea. A symbol of power, strength, mystery, calm, and endlessness, the sea is at the heart of our existence, providing both perspective and an eternal rhythm.

I was interested in building on the evocative language of the sea. As a subject, the sea is at the primal heart of us all. Both chaotic and calm, balanced yet treacherous.

I used the cut-up technique to create the poems, popularized by writer William S. Burroughs and The Situationists’ printing some 750 words and lines collected from seafaring-related texts and cut these into strips. These strips were then mixed and placed on a large table. Randomly selecting oblique sentences and pairing them with others threw up surprising combinations. Sometimes dark, other times light and full of whimsy. The word and line selection happened over several weeks as friends and collaborators visited the studio and played with the process.

The anamorphic poems come into focus from a fixed perspective, creating a natural resolve as the viewer moves around the piece. Hand-painted into the boat’s hull, the text appears to be floating in a rippling sea. This “Anamorphic” effect was achieved by hand-tracing projected text onto the hull.

Thanks to RNLI for the boat and Brewers Paint for supporting us with materials.



Producer: Roz Houchin
Sign Writing Helpers: Ben Robinson
Assistant: Buddy Tucker

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