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‘Ship,like a greenhouse floating’



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‘My interest was captured by the idea of the ship as a heterotopian space. ‘The ship is the heterotopia par excellence’ (Foucault) The ship has been reinterpreted as a greenhouse floating and is seen through moving image as a reflection and as a mirage.  It was filmed in the ‘Lily House’ at Kew Gardens whilst searching for examples of the breadfruit plant, and also from the River Thames, where the Bounty started its journey. The 2 films have been juxtaposed to reveal a dreamlike shimmering image that hovers between fantasy and  reality.

Part of the Bounty was refitted at Deptford, installing a greenhouse (termed ‘garden’)  to accommodate the transportation of the breadfruit plants.  Their upkeep was to the detriment of the environment and existence of the Bounty’s crew.

“The between decks was divided in the following manner: - the great cabin was appropriated for the preservation of the plants, and extended as far forward as the after hatchway.  It had two large skylights, and on each side three scuttles for air, and was fitted with a false floor  cut full of holes to contain the garden pots, in which the plants were to be bought home.  The deck was covered with lead, and at the foremost corners of the cabin were fixed pipes to carry off the water that had drained from the plants into tubs placed below to save it for future use”                              

The precious water fed the plants rather than sustain the crew. The image of the greenhouse is a contemporary  issue.  Location is imagined and seen as a microcosm, past or present. It questions our illusion of the stability of life, bringing together the unpredictable elements that will always exist in delicate balance.’