Life Boat

28 Mar-7 Apr 2024
PV 28 Mar 2024, 6-8pm

A.P.T. Gallery
London SE8 4SA


Life Boat brings together artists with a shared interest in exploring precarity as a site of dynamic transition. Each takes an investigative approach to the environmental, social and historical themes evoked by the lifeboat, as a means of addressing ecological crisis, liminal landscapes, close and distant horizons, boundaries and displacement, lines of rescue, navigation and transformation. 


The gallery location in Deptford, once a major departure point for maritime trade and scientific expeditions from Deptford Dockyard, resonates with the exhibition’s concept of being ‘at sea’, in the sense of negotiating the unknown. Research into local histories and ecologies informs work created for the exhibition and is further expanded upon in the accompanying events programme.


Video and mixed media works also draw on material gathered from the Arctic Ocean in the Svalbard Archipelago, The Sea of Hebrides and Long Beach Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest, to reflect on disappearing, threatened and polluted landscapes. Other fieldwork undertaken feeds into work that considers the human experience of dislocation from nature and the need for faith, hope and resilience.


Fragility and vulnerability are embodied in layered works on paper, a large suspended sculpture made from delicate compostable material and living installations incorporating transient elements that transform over the exhibition period. Etchings and spatial interventions explore the use of the natural world as human resource and land as a site of geopolitical conflict. Global data security, with its increasing reliance on satellite technology exposed to the solar storms of space weather, is questioned in a multi-screen installation. 


In tackling concepts of the perilous, the vulnerable and the lost, Life Boat raises the alarm on the passive position of waiting for rescue and encourages urgent action in troubled waters. 


A reading list and research material will be available in the gallery.


“How do you calculate upon the unforeseen? It seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforeseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control.”

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost


Participating artists: Rachael Allain / Caroline AreskogJones / Beverley Duckworth / Liz Elton / Susan Eyre / Kathleen Herbert / Kaori Homma / Anne Krinsky