Exhibition by residency artists in 2013–2014 Tasha Doremus and Sebastien Leclercq has been opened at the Maritime Centre Vellamo in Kotka. French/English artist couple began their photograph project about modern seafaring in Finland in July 2013, on a cargo ship sailing from Rauma, Finland, to Hull, England, via Santander in Spain. Following this, the artists spent a month between January and February 2014 on various ships off the coasts of Finland, Sweden and Germany.
In Rauma Leclercq and Doremus met a lot of people who worked in the maritime industry who were content and very proud of its tradition, while back home in the U.S.A this industry is often being criticized or the news is negative. They were curious to see if Finland is doing something different.
Artists photographed people at work in ports and on the decks, bridges and engine rooms of cargo ships. They sailed on a tug boat and were given a lift on a pilot vessel on a freezing night. The couple enjoyed the hospitality of the crew and shared delicious food with them in the mess.
Despite their documentary nature, the exhibition photographs and short videos can even be considered romantic in spirit. While there is no escaping the occasionally monotonous nature of work, the maritime surroundings lend a certain majesty to the drudgery. The pictures record the simple beauty of torrential rain, freezing winds and the glimmer of sunlight.
Many thanks to the shipowners and pilotage authorities that enabled the photography project and welcomed the artists on board their vessels: Godby Shipping, Meriaura, Finnlines, Langh Ship, Alfons Håkans, Wasaline and Finnpilot.
The project was made in collaboration with Rauma Maritime Museum, where it was first seen in summer 2014 and after that at Forum Marinum in Turku in early 2015.