The Good Ship Union

The next piece in my spot light series is my etching The Good Ship Union created last year amidst the heady atmosphere of the Brexit Vote. I wanted to make an image which grappled with the maze of contradictory arguments this vote triggered and continues to provokes today. 

The Good Ship Union uses the guise of a toy ship full of characters that pull and tug at different meanings. There is humpty dumpty sat atop the lighthouse mast, wedged between the nautical flags for ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Below him, two boxers wrestle things out whilst a camera man and a cowboy ‘play’ at confrontation. We have Pinocchio embracing a piggy, whose eye is anxiously cast forward. The figurehead of the ship is a donkey, a sailor dangles a carrot in front him in an attempt to encourage action. More nautical flags at the rear of the ship signal for assistance whilst warning to ‘keep clear....manoeuvring with difficulty.’ A little life boat pulls away at the bottom, carrying with it the ship’s anchor and waving another flag, which in turn flirts with a variety of associations, both nautical (representing the nautical sign for 'stop carrying out your intentions and wait for my signal') and national (the English flag). At the front, the Ship is being towed by a clown on a mechanical wind up snail. Meanings are in flux and the outcome, unknown.

   The Good Ship Union,   soft ground etching with aquatint, 53.4 x 43.2 cm, edition of 10

The Good Ship Union, soft ground etching with aquatint, 53.4 x 43.2 cm, edition of 10