Art Exhibition: Aquatopia—Imaginary of the Deep


Nottingham Contemporary presents Aquatopia, a major exhibition exploring the imaginary of the ocean deep, from July 20 to September 22, 2013, at their main gallery, located at Weekday Cross, Nottingham, England. Fascinating marine objects will also appear amongst the artworks – scrimshaw, glass botanical models, and ancient maps, among other objects. The exhibition is collaboration with Tate St Ives in Cornwall, where it will be shown from October 2013 to January 2014.

At the moment, we have very little information on the works included in the exhibition, besides the ones mentioned in the description below. Shown above is a painting by British artist J. M. W. Turner, “The Slave Ship” (formally “Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhon coming on,” first exhibited in 1840). Please note details, such as the hands of slaves drowning in the waves. I am hoping that this painting will be included in the exhibition; it would provide an interesting “conversation” with the “Hydra Decapita” project. More information on the details of the exhibition will be forthcoming.

Description: Much of our ocean remains unexplored and in art, literature and popular culture the ocean depths have long been feared, fantasized and mythologized. Aquatopia will venture into this oceanic imaginary through the works of outstanding contemporary, modern and historic artists. Highlights include JMW Turner’s Sunrise with Sea Monsters 1845, Hokusai’s Dream of a Fisherman’s Wife 1814 and The Otolith Group’s Hydra Decapita 2010 – a vision of an Atlantic populated by powerful amphibious descendants of Africans drowned in the middle passage. Alongside these works will be various aquatic artifacts, antiquities and curios, including scrimshaw, maps and mummified ‘mermaids’.

For more information, see and

2 thoughts on “Art Exhibition: Aquatopia—Imaginary of the Deep

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