Exhibitionists·Video

Same ship, different day: this artist residency happens on a Shanghai-bound cargo ship

Christopher Boyne talks about one of the odder residencies we've heard of — the 23 days he spent on a cargo ship headed from Vancouver to Shanghai.

Christopher Boyne spent 23 days at sea, and this is what happened

Montreal-based artist Christopher Boyne has always had a love for maritime adventure. So when Access Gallery in Vancouver revealed they had a nautical artist-in-residence program, it was only natural he'd climb aboard. 2:42

Why did Vancouver's Access Gallery decide to team up with the Contemporary Art Gallery and create a residency for artists aboard a long-distance cargo ship? And furthermore, who would take up the challenge of spending an extended time at sea on such a vessel?

As it turns out, Montreal-based artist Christopher Boyne was primed for such an adventure, driven by his love for boats and the sea while growing up in Halifax. He's one of four artists who (separately) embarked on a journey lasting 23 days on a cargo ship traveling from Vancouver to Shanghai. While crossing the ocean, Boyne prepared the notes he'd need to complete his project when he reached land again: a set of 23 model ships, one embodying each day he spent aboard. This data would include his mood, the weather, the colour of the water, and many other details that made one day remarkably different from the next.

In this video directed by Pablo Aravena that includes considerable footage shot on the ship by Boyne himself, the artist opens up about what drove him to take on this challenge, and what the results look like. You can see his work alongside the residency's other artists at Access Gallery until July 16 in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, Chapter One: Nour Bishouty, Christopher Boyne, Elisa Ferrari, Amaara Raheem.

The 23 Days at Sea residency is the result of a partnership between Access Gallery and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Its supporting sponsors are the Reederei NSB, the shipping company with which the artists sail, and the Burrard Arts Foundation. And the artists for next year's voyage have already been selected.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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