42 days 42 boats 42 installations

This project is my response to the COVID19 Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, originally announced for 42 days from 2 August to 13 September 2020.  (The Stage 4 lockdown was later extended to 27 October 2020)

Melbournians were limited to travel within a 5km radius, and only allowed to leave home for four reasons, 1 hour of exercise per day. A curfew between 8pm to 5 am – 8 pm was also imposed. This self-directed project focused my time and energy and helped me to remain productive during the lockdown.

I made a boat for each day of the Stage 4 lockdown.  Once the boats were fired and glazed, I photographed the boats in different environments as installations.  Once the Stage 4 lockdown was lifted I was also able to photograph the boats outside the 5km radius from my home.

Each boat’s surface shows stitched seams.  The crudely stitched seams on the boat are metaphors for fragility, the act of mending and patching together our lives.

The project will be exhibited digitally and I plan to exhibit the photographs and the 42 boats in a gallery environment, once large gathering are possible again.

Australians are still unable to travel overseas for other than exceptional purposes, but there is still a limited parcel post. I cannot leave Australia but my boats can.

I contacted a number of artists and asked if they would be interested in photograph one of my ceramic boats and posting the photos on Instagram to give the boats a bit of a log of their journey. The response was overwhelming.

On 1 February 2021 I sent 6 boats on their way, two to the United States, three to Europe and one to Western Australia. Boats that were made in an extreme lockdown when we could not move more than 5km are now travelling the world. I hope to include these images as part of the overall project. A further three boats have been sent overseas, to Denmark, United States and one to United Kingdom. The first of the exhibitions showcasing the boats their ship’s log and images will be in 2022.