Learn about artworks by four young resident artists, inspired by the National Maritime Museum's Our Connection to Water exhibition
In summer 2023, a group of young people aged between 15 and 18 created pieces inspired by Royal Museums Greenwich’s exhibition Our Connection to Water, as resident artists for Young Creatives: Rethink Residency.
The Young Creatives worked with Aya Mohamed, one of the artists featured in Our Connection to Water, as well as the designer of the exhibition, and one of the co-curators from The Collective Makers.
Throughout the residency, the participants engaged with the theme of water, experimenting with different techniques such as printing, marbling and tie-dye to express their own personal connections to water.
The final artworks on display in the Rethink Space from November 2023 explore the complex and delicate relationship that human beings have with water, presenting it as both familiar and unpredictable.
Please read on to learn more about the artworks by the young resident artists, in their own words.
Abdullah has used marbling, printing and collage to achieve a layered work that resembles the movement of underwater currents and the irregular swirls found on the surface of water. The viewer is invited to consider what might lie beneath.
This uncertainty is also expressed through the inclusion of a skull, a reminder of our own mortality and the fragility of human existence. Abdullah has carefully selected techniques that have enabled them to convey varied and complex feelings in connection to water and the power of the natural world.
Where Are We? is a composition that shows a cityscape encased by fragile doors, symbolising containment and vulnerability. Mirrors are often associated with introspection and self-reflection. The flowing blue material represents a turbulent sea that forces its way through the city, infiltrating its walls. In placing these elements together, Sophie has created a metaphor for the challenges that life presents and for the vulnerability of the individual to external forces, experiences and emotions.
Joe was inspired by Seba Calfuqueo’s work in Our Connection to Water, where the artist compares a flowing river to a length of silk. In Calm Before the Storm Joe uses tie-dye, marbling and layering to capture the serene moment before a storm arrives, and the turbulent energy it brings when it does.
Walk Backwards uses a box as a vessel, like a message carried in a bottle. The long silk leading to shore and the abandoned boat suggest the end of a journey, or a passage into the unknown. Joe presents the idea that life is like walking backwards, as we have no idea of what lies ahead.
Julia, inspired by the work of Jiun Collective in Our Connection to Water, has created this work as a tribute to their grandmother, who died in 2019. The red and white boat represents the flag of Poland, their grandmother’s home country.
Water holds special significance as it evokes memories of the artist's arrival in the UK in 2009, with their grandmother as a companion. Memories of seeing water below from the plane when she first arrived bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia associated with their grandmother's presence during significant life events.
Banner image: Detail of Pour me Water, Pure Water © Dafe Oboro