The Queen's House is home to a rich collection of contemporary artwork on free display. These artists have responded to contemporary concerns of nationhood, migration, tradition, and life at sea in their own unique and diverse ways.
Kovats' Sea Mark is composed of panels of glazed ceramic tiles that together suggest a seascape. Her work reflects a preoccupation with the natural world as a site of encounter and transformation. Set in juxtaposition with 17th century blue and white Delfware, Sea Mark suggests the ways in which Kovats uses traditional art historical genres and media in order to raise concerns about humanity's increasingly troubled relationship with our natural suroundings.
Symington is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors whose work focuses on representing overlooked or marginalized historical figures. Her sculpture of Olaudah Equiano, an important figure in the abolition movement, is set in dialogue with 18th-century naval portraits to explore notions of heroism, then and now. Visit the artist's homepage
Ship of Fools will be part of a new exhibition at the Box in Plymouth. It will return in Spring 2021.
Kehinde Wiley's Ship of Fools makes visible not only the problems that confront contemporary migrants, but also the invisible legacies that informed maritime history and indeed the genre of marine painting.
Bettina von Zwehl
Bettina von Zwehl is an important contemporary artist whose practice focuses on portraiture. As part of the Museum’s NHLF-funded Armada Portrait Activity Plan, the artists made a series of portraits of local young women in the style of sixteenth century portrait miniatures, drawing upon the visual legacy of portraits of Elizabeth I as a young woman.
Faisal Abdu’Allah’s work negotiates cultural displacement within the Black British community, examining erasure and absence. He worked with the Museum collections in 2001 and became particularly interested in how artists helped secure the status of men involved in expanding global trade and colonial empires.