Ghost (2010 -) [Installation for ‘Sculpture in the City’, 2015]
Alaskan yellow cedar, western red cedar, Fijian mahogany, oak, ash, olive, walnut, and mixed media.
23”h x 31”w x 22’l
Ghost Archive (IV)
River Thames, between Bankside and Deadman’s Hole, Tower Bridge, London.
30th May 2015.
Passengers: Karina Isajeva, a caterer at Hiscox and Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox.
42 mins 30 secs
Sculpture and video installation exhibited at Leadenhall Market, City of London, as part of Sculpture in the City.
Ghost [link to original Ghost page] is a kayak; a sculpture as vessel, coffin, bed, costume and camera rig. It is designed to ferry people to the ‘island of the dead’, with a rower at the back, and the passenger lying down low and flat in the front, like a body in a coffin with their head slightly raised, travelling along the interface between water and sky. A dome in the deck of the kayak separates them physically and visually from the paddler at the back. A camera, mounted on Ghost‘s deck, records each unique voyage, the passengers’ point of view, from across its bows, monitoring the often awkward (shallow and, or concealed) littoral environment.
The video archive, installed inside the Leadenhall Market arcade, reveals consecutive journeys along the River Thames, between Bankside and Deadman’s Hole, Tower Bridge, London, over the space of two hours on 30th May 2015, with passengers, Karina Isajeva, a caterer at Hiscox and Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox. Despite the short interval between the two acts of ferrying the River is seen to have transformed considerably through its rapid tidal changes and shifts in weather and current. The video replays these passages as fragmented sequences, occurring almost simultaneously, whilst Ghost’s position within the frame is the only element that seems constant. Ghost, the vessel, is suspended as though floating high down the aisle of the Leadenhall Market arcade, as though in a City that has been submerged by rising sea levels.
Ghost involves a sustained process offering both its participants and audience a particular experience and awareness of liminality via suspending a series of states and elements in close relation to each other in order to observe their divisions and flux, such as sleeping and waking, living and dying, water and air, object and event, myth and reality, guide and passenger, stasis and journey. Each voyage for Ghost, the artist and the passenger is towards a notion of the ‘island of the dead’ whether that be a site of burial, execution, entropy, pollution, industrial manufacturing for the military, or simply just environmental change.
Since 2010, Ghost has travelled along the River Medway, Kent, the River Tamar, Devon, through The Olympic Park, London, and along the Tyne, Newcastle. In each location members of the public were ferried along these stretches of water.