By Annabel König Opening 4th August at 7pm Coastguard Cultural Centre Tramore Exhibition 5th-17th August Mon-Sat 10-5 Sun 11-5
‘Saved’ is a photographic exhibition that consists of, eight images and text. The text are excerpts from conversations that I had with each of the sitters.
In September 2013 I started a year-long artist’s residency for the Arts Office in Co. Waterford, Ireland. I looked at the lives and land along the coastal towns of the county in the off season. During my residency year I came to know some of the crew of the RNLI lifeboat station in Dunmore East. The work culminated in an exhibition titled ‘Coastline Stories’ which showed at the Old Market House Arts Centre in Dungarvan from the 6th of September to the 4th of October 2014 (http://www.blurb.com/b/5535765-coastline- stories) The RNLI lifeboat at Dunmore East has been in existence since 1834. Its mission is to ‘save lives at sea’. There are sixteen crew members that can be called upon to man the all weather boat when a ‘shout’ has been issued, the boat needs six lifeboat crew to operate. These people are of all ages and come from all walks of life. They will drop everything when the pager goes off, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to risk their lives, voluntarily, to save anyone in trouble at sea. There is only one full time Station Engineer at the lifeboat station, the rest of the crew are ordinary people, with regular jobs.
The lifeboat and crew are an integral part of the coastline and the communities where they are based. I am interested in making work which will honour and highlight the amazing courage and dedication shown by the men and woman who serve as volunteers. Dressed in their RNLI survival suits they stand in a range of real life locations. These locations are where the RNLI volunteers do their ‘regular’ jobs. Some of the members are Guards, some are factory owners, work in supermarkets and on building sites. The orange of the RNLI survival suits will contrast strongly with the supermarket shelves, the orderliness of an office or the bareness of a construction site.
Along side the crew members, a grey blanket will be placed in every shot. This blanket references the RNLI long historical existence. Although the gear, training and the boats have improved since its inception in 1824 the work of the RNLI is still the same, to save lives at sea. The images of the crew are a document to their remarkableness. A job done quietly with a ‘Thank you’ sufficient as reward.
Venue: Coastguard Cultural Centre Tramore, LoveLane, Tramore, Waterford 051-391656