John Hansard Gallery
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
South West England

Crossings examines the sinking of two famous 20th century ships, RMS Titanic and MV Estonia. The exhibition comprises two major elements. Touching Black Ice is a sound installation exploring the legacy of the Titanic. Centred around a full-size sailing boat, emotive soundscapes interweave with interpretations of Titanic oral testimony, forming an abstracted evocation of the event. Elsewhere a new film, Estonia, retraces the circumstances surrounding the more recent Baltic disaster. Revisiting the embarkation points and sea routes of the MV Estonia, Brisley combines diagrammatic imagery of the ferry’s final movements, combined with chilling radio exchanges between the sinking Estonia and approaching ships. Brisley explores how the surface of our society can be punctured, even destroyed when confronted with catastrophe. The Titanic, with the loss of 1523 lives after leaving the port of Southampton on its maiden voyage in1912, shattered the belief that the machine age would conquer nature. And in 1994 the sinking of the MV Estonia Ferry in the Baltic Sea, with 852 lives lost, has been surrounded by conspiracy theories of military involvement. Stuart Brisley: Crossings is a John Hansard Gallery exhibition supported by The Henry Moore Foundation and the Oral History Unit, Southampton City Council. Sailing boat kindly loaned courtesy Salterns Boatbuilders, Bursledon, Hampshire.