Historical information

The Sea is All Around Us - Margaret Woodward
11-21 May 2015
Dome Gallery – Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia.
37 º 49'21" S 144º 57'03"E
Hours: Daily 11.00am - 4.00pm
The sea is all around us is a multi-layered event which will create a memorable experience for those visiting the Dome Gallery and the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne’s Docklands. The event will acknowledge and raise awareness of the working lives and journeys of seafarers by making visible their role in transporting commodities, materials and objects to and from Australia’s shores. This installation invites seafarers and visitors to participate in a global project which aims to witness sea journeys and trace the mobile life of seafarers and souvenirs. For a fortnight in May 2015, the Dome Gallery will become an architectural large scale compass, with the circular floor marking the intersection of its latitude and longitude (37 º 49'21" S 144º 57'03"E). Over these two weeks the Dome Gallery will be inscribed with marks recording journeys made by seafarers, recording destination and departure ports, home lands and waterways, and in doing so making visible a small segment of the global patterns of seafaring. Custom-made souvenirs designed for the installation will be given to seafarers as gestures of welcome and a memento of their visit. The souvenirs originating in Poland will continue their journey by sea, to destinations beyond the Dome becoming part of the global network of seafaring, with an invitation for seafarers to record their future journeys using QR code scanning technologies. It is hoped that by releasing the 200 limited edition souvenirs accompanying the seafarers the mobile life of souvenirs and seafarers will also become visible.
For more information visit the website: sensingtheremote.net
Margaret Woodward is Associate Professor of Design at Charles Sturt University

For a fortnight in May 2015, Margaret Woodward was ‘in residence’ at the Mission to Seafarers Norla Dome Gallery with her participatory installation project "The Sea is All Around Us". The floor of the gallery became a large scale compass. Seafarers were welcomed to the gallery their ships, journeys and destinations were recorded and mapped on the floor drawing. Seafarers were welcomed with cake and souvenir mugs of tea. These mugs, a momento for the seafarers, were inscribed with a scannable QR code and an invitation for seafarers to record their journeys on a dedicated project website. Around 120 souvenirs are now continuing their journey by sea and seafarers have scanned the mugs from locations including Singapore, Brisbane, Fremantle, Adelaide, Busan and Johor!

After the exhibition Margaret Woodward was able to follow the seafarers' whereabout: ""The Sea is all Around Us". I am in awe of where this project might go, well done Margaret.

One week has passed since finishing up at the Mission to Seafarers Victoria.
Today I check my website and can see that the cup-carrying seafarers are reaching warmer climates, they tell me it’s getting hot as some are already in Suva and Port Lautoka. I’ve watched the souvenirs travel and fan out from Melbourne, some West to Adelaide and Fremantle, others going north to Sydney Brisbane, Singapore and Busan. Another seafarer scans in from Changi Airport, excited to be going home for some time with his family in the Phillipines. I keep an eye on my ‘fleet’ of 22 ships that visited the Dome Gallery, and see where they are on the Live Shipping website, watch some of them sail up the coast of Western Australia and marvel at the steady pace this journey takes. I am so used to flying over coastlines and countries in a matter of hours, impatiently watching the tracking screen from my airline seat, this shipping pace seems so much more real, so much more of a passage. I feel connected to these ships, to the people on board, to know that an object has passed from my hands to theirs, now holding in it my cargo of concern."