Background

About The Artist

Often about artwork itself, Jim Lockey’s contemporary practice crosses a range of disciplines whilst retaining a consistent wry tone. His works are playful explorations of the complex relationship between artifact and viewer.

Since 2011 he has made few large scale contemporary works in order to raise his children and run a number of social arts projects designed to give young people with poverty of opportunity access to the arts and the opportunity to become confident creators. He currently runs the Mobile Comics Factory.

BOAT is Jim’s first major work since 2012 when he was curator at Limbo Arts (Margate),  and artist in residence at the Swedenborg Society.

See more of Jim’s work at this link.

About The Work

What follows is an edited version of the initial proposal for BOAT, formerly titled Substance Lapsing Unsubstantial.

The artist will launch and pilot a boat made from cardboard. Video documentation of the voyage and a lengthy build process would be presented either as an event, or as looped video.

The work will be an absurdist act – an attempt to build a seaworthy vessel from an inherently unsuitable material. Cardboard is neither strong nor water tight, however, the build of the boat will be treated as if it were going to be used for generations. There will be no wood or metal in the frame, it will be made entirely from cardboard. The design of the boat will be based upon various traditional canoe building techniques, and adapted to the material. The vessel will therefore be a sculptural object in itself, made with a high level of craftsmanship and reverence for the history of canoe building. It is expected to be in the region of 8 feet long. The work is an artistic gesture against certain, inevitable destruction. A little cardboard boat on the waves represents a search for meaning in the face of overwhelming chaos.

It will be epoxy’d and varnished allowing the craft to be somewhat watertight and so it will operate as a boat for the purposes of the performed aspect of the work (and last longer than a couple of minutes)… but the boat will ultimately be damaged and weakened by its time on the sea and will take on water so that it will not be able to be used again. Its short life is the point, I hope that the work will have a beauty in its transience, like cherry blossom. The working title for this project, Substance Lapsing Unsubstantial is taken from the Robert Frost poem ‘West Running Brook’. The poem is a nihilistic meditation on finding meaning in entropy.

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