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Coming this Spring: Solitude at Sea

Saturday 5th March 2022 - Sunday 5th June 2022

Opening at the Scottish Maritime Museum on Irvine Harbourside, Solitude at Sea will reflect on life at sea, on oil platforms, lighthouses and islands and the parallels between isolation at sea and Lockdown. Visitors will explore what it is that makes us feel ‘connected’ and how creativity has been so significant through periods of separation.

Artworks include Kate Downie’s ARI Mural Design No.1 (1988), inspired by her residency on Total Oil Marine’s North Sea Alpha B Oil Platform; and Will Maclean MBE’s Black Vessel Foundering (1994), a work on wood which remembers the loss of 19th Century emigration ships, in particular the Exmouth Castle, which foundered off the Isle of Islay with 240 lives lost.


Painting of a somber woman holding a baby at a hrobour, surrounded by a clown, lighthosue and ship.
The Loss (1990) by Joyce Cairns


Exhibition works will also include The Loss (1990) by Joyce Cairns in which, as with many of her works, the dominant female figure plays the leading role as a luring siren of hope, fear, death, loneliness or loss; Frances Walker’s Leaving Roan (2000), an island deserted since 1938; and Arthur Watson’s twin screenprints, Harbour Lights (1991).


Screen print on paper clean graphic line depiction of a lit lighthouse in red tones.

Screen print on paper clean graphic line depiction of a lit lighthouse in green tones.
Harbour Lights, port and starboard (1991), Arthur Watson


 The exhibition will be complemented by a vibrant and diverse events programme for all ages including sea shanties and storytelling, creative writing and painting workshops.

Solitude at Sea, which runs until 5 June, is included in Museum Admission.


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