Making Waves: Art Inspired by the Sea

After A Gale by William T. Richards

14 June - 6 September

From stormy seas to tranquil sunny bays and busy harbours to shipwrecks, the beauty, drama and ever-changing nature of our seas has long fascinated artists.

Making Waves: Art Inspired by the Sea explores the challenges faced by generations of artists when capturing this transient and unpredictable subject matter on canvas, in watercolour, print, ceramic, and on film. The exhibition also considers our relationship with the sea, its attraction and our vulnerability against its changing moods.


Making Waves draws on the Harris’ rich collection of marine paintings including work by Julius Olsson, Paul Nash, Maggi Hambling, Lubaina Himid, and ceramic artist James Tower.

Contemporary works (not included in our collection) include a film and installation piece, There, After, by Sophie Clements. The exhibition also features our first showing of a recent joint ceramic acquisition, Ocean by Natasha Daintry.

Image: William T. Richards, After A Gale, 1903

Highlights of the exhibition

The exhibition includes a recently conserved painting, Sunset at Land’s End by Julius Olsson. Browse the gallery to get a behind the scenes look at the conservation work undertaken.

Look out for Morning Tide, by Preston born artist, John Anthony Park plus paintings of Lancashire's coastline by local artists including Edwin Beattie and Reginald Aspinwall.

Contemporary works
The exhibition includes works by three contemporary artists, plus our first showing of a recent joint acquisition, Ocean by Natasha Daintry.

Mounira Al Solh's film, The Sea is a Stereo: Paris without a Sea, 2007.
Part of a prize-winning series of films, The Sea is a Stereo features a group of men who reflect on their habitual daily swim at the beach in Beirut whatever the circumstances.

Sophie Clements, There, After, 2011

From the fundamental forces that act on the physical world, to the strength of bonds between human beings, it is these invisible forces or bonds that hold us – as people, as families, as atoms and molecules.

To understand and expose the strength of these bonds, There, After shows them in their absence: The breaking of a bond and the moments that follow. In this compelling film and installation, see water 'dance' as it escapes the bounds of a balloon.

Get a sneak peek of There, After on Sophie Clements' website

Sphie Clements, There, After

Sophie Clements, There, After, (film still), 2011

Samson Kambalu, St Augustine and the Little Boy on the River Trent, 2006, 4’30”

In this film, artist and author, Samson Kambalu acts out the role of the boy encountered by St Augustine on the beach who attempts to empty the sea down a small hole he has made in the sand. As Kambalu attempts to drain a river into 280 50cl plastic bottles, the piece poetically poses questions of man’s relationship to the environment, the physical, the metaphysical and the spiritual.

First showing at the Harris of Ocean
Ocean is an installation of 1,002 slip-cast porcelain pots produced by Natasha Daintry in 2009. This piece is widely considered one of Daintry’s finest works to date and encapsulates many of her most important artistic ideas. Daintry’s love of the material qualities of porcelain and coloured glazes are expressed through the exquisitely produced slip-cast porcelain pots.
Daintry’s great skill as a colourist is demonstrated by the wide range of coloured glazes used for the pots which she then juxtaposes in the installation to intensify the colours and create movement in the work. The pots are cleverly arranged to form an ‘ocean’ which explores Daintry’s fascination with nature, water, movement and colour theory, and our emotional responses to colour and form.


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