National Maritime Museum
Heritage Britain

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

New exhibition: Skeleton - new sculptures inspired by old boats

Friday 11 November 2016 - 30 April 2017

On Friday 11 November 2016, we open a new sculpture exhibition by our first ever ‘artist in residence’.

Rob Johnsey, a boatbuilder and sculptor, is not only the museum’s first ‘artist in residence’ but a long serving and dedicated member of the Museum team, having volunteered for our Boat Collection team for over 10 years.

Rob is a keen sailor and once owned a traditional wooden boat. His museum voluntary work has included boat maintenance and restoration and, more recently, designing and carving the fabulous dragon figurehead for the 2015 -16 Viking exhibition entrance here in the museum. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering and a BA in Fine Art from Falmouth University.

The exhibition is called ‘Skeleton - New sculptures inspired by old boats’ and is a solo show of new sculptural works inspired by historic boats and other forms in the Museum’s collections. Rob works mostly in wood and has adopted a variety of styles for his pieces.

Some are inspired directly by museum exhibits such as the Coracles. Other pieces draw on broad boat themes such as clinker construction or repeated patterns of boat ribs. Sometimes he has taken the reclaimed wood from an old boat and made it into something new. He likes to contrast synthetic or mechanical forms with those from the natural world.

The exhibition provides a tactile and visually appealing experience, and a new way to engage with historic boats from Cornwall and around the world, showcasing Rob’s skill and artistic flair with wood and 3-D forms. It also takes a look at the process of making sculpture.

Find out more about Skeleton
Go to the NMMC full exhibition calendar