Connect>Create 2008

A personal response to 'Ghost Ship'

Cross’s homage to the decommissioned lightship can be compared to the internationally renowned artist Chris Burden’s Ghost Ship 2005 which was part of the ‘Tall Ships Races’ 2005 and undertook a crewless journey between Fair Isle, Shetland and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Burden’s interests are in technology and engineering – he created a ship to mechanically sail with no human on board. 

Lightships were decommissioned and replaced by electronic buoys because of the sometimes perilous conditions that the engineless ships and crews had to endure. Here, Burden introduces a new concept, the close of yet another era and the beginning of one in which “ Ghost Ship” could mark the start of an era “when no sailor goes to sea” [see links].


Tyneside was once a great ship-building region and Burden’s Ghost Ship pays homage to the demise of ship building on the Tyne. Hull too commemorates days gone-by, as visits can be made to the Spurn Lightship, now a museum docked permanently in Hull’s Marina. Also the great Arctic Corsair, a decommissioned fishing trawler is docked as a museum on the River Hull, really capturing the thriving industry that once was, and Hull’s importance as a port.


By Dawn Lord, student from the BA (hons) contemporary Fine Art, Hull School of Art and Design 2009.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Ferens Art Gallery, Hull | 
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