Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific


Fri, 14 April 2023



Reid Gallery, The Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art - Reid Gallery, The Reid Building 164 Renfrew Street The Glasgow School of Art Glasgow G3 6RQ

Further info

Cost: free


GSA Exhibitions website

Type: Exhibition

Image: Our Sacred Ocean tapestry in progress, 2022, Photograph ©Keiskamma Trust

A group exhibition featuring the work of artists and organisations including the Association of Solomon Islanders in Creative Fashion (Solomon Islands), Drama Queens (Ghana), Eric Otchere (Ghana), Erromango Cultural Association (Vanuatu), Keiskamma Art Project (South Africa), Lloyd Newton (Solomon Islands) and Pax Jakupa (Papua New Guinea) 

Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific brings together the creative outputs of eight community-based art projects that surface human relationships and emotional connections with the ocean. Indigenous knowledge, practices and worldviews are showcased in diverse media, ranging from film and song to tapestry and wearable art, created by makers based in Ghana, South Africa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Recontextualising the ocean as a space that unites, rather than separates, communities and countries reveals inherent common themes. From the tides of the Pacific to the currents of Africa, the sea is regarded as a sacred place of identity, nurture, healing, spirits and ancestors. Each of the featured works of art embody locally self-determined priorities, values and aesthetics that reflect the specific socio-cultural circumstances of their production.

The exhibition is presented in association with One Ocean Hub, an international programme of collaborative research for development that focuses on UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water. The Hub’s Deep Emotional Engagement Programme (DEEP) Fund supports the practice of independent artists and grassroot organisations to prioritise marginalised voices in global debates about marine policies and governance.

One Ocean Hub works to promote fair and inclusive decision-making for a healthy ocean, whereby people and the planet flourish. The programme of research integrates diverse knowledge systems by facilitating equitable transdisciplinary collaborations between academics, coastal communities, civil society, international organisations and decision-makers. The Hub is funded by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) One Ocean Hub (Grant Ref: NE/S008950/1).

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