I was coming home from uni and I bumped into this little boat that says Lampedusa-London on it, moored by the steps down to the canal in Granary Square.
I then discovered that it is a floating art installation by British artist, Lucy Wood. She sailed on an epic, four month solo trip from the Sicilian island of Lampedusa all the way to Granary Square. On its small deck are scattered the belongings of the migrants it carried from Libya. There were 35 of them. It seems hard to believe that they travelled through the Mediterranean on that tiny thing now gently floating on Regent’s Canal. The piece is in association with the show, Sink Without Trace, being held at P21 Gallery as part of Refugee Week. Please see link below:
After looking at the artist’s work, could not help thinking of Lucy Wood as an anti-Christoph Büchel. The Swiss-Icelandic artist exhibited a shipwreck at the Venice Biennale earlier this year. It sank in 2015 killing between 700 and 1,100 migrants. While migrants are still drowning today, I’m not sure that the scene of one of the largest hecatombs at sea for the past ten years should be claimed by a conceptual artist so easily.
After reading few articles, however, I am left with the impression that this is the latest case of a big, contemporary art gallery paying a ridiculous amount of money to whoever it may be to grab something from a community. The title, Barca Nostra, that means “our boat”, should probably be changed to Barca Mia, my boat.