Downwind off Cape Cod

A two plate woodcut produced in two separate editions; one is an edition of three on 315 gsm Heritage White paper bound into a concertina artists book and the other an edition on 145gsm Zerkall paper both using Caligo Safe Wash Relief Inks.

This print has been selected for the Southampton City Art Gallery Open Exhibition 2020 – In Search of a New World (launched 15 August 2020 online) along with my print ‘The Crossing‘.

Late last year, in 2019, my printmaking group Cowprint, associated with Red Hot Press in Southampton, decided to develop ambitious ideas for a project to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Southampton. Having thoroughly researched the amazing story of the Mayflower, as a keen sailor, I was particularly drawn to the challenges the Pilgrims, sailors and other passengers faced at sea given the bad weather they suffered due to their crossing being delayed into the autumn. Their voyage resonates with my own experiences as a student sailing across the Atlantic (delivering a charter boat from La Rochelle, France, to New London), though in very different circumstances, …. except we did have bad weather and had to shelter in Bermuda from a hurricane!

The woodcuts were printed in February 2020 as two separate editions; an edition of 20 for the exhibition (and sale) and an edition of three which have been bound into three concertina artists books that collects together 22 prints produced by Cowprint members. One book will go on display in an exhibition at Inky Hands, a print studio and gallery based in Plymouth, Massachusetts, that has agreed to collaborate with us and exchange 18 prints and an artists book for an exhibition which was to be held early August at God’s House Tower, 400 years after the Mayflower departed from Southampton. The exhibition is part of a large programme of events on both sides of the Atlantic.

Unfortunately the lockdown and social distancing measures enforced as a result of the Coronavirus pandemimic has meant the exhibition has been postponed until September / October. I will describe how we made the books in another post and keep this website updated with news of the forthcoming exhibition when new dates are finalised.

Here is my artist’s statement that will accompany the print when it is exhibited later this year:

It is November 10th 1620; having faced treacherous seas off the Monomoy Shoals and strong head winds in a valiant attempt to reach northern Virginia, the Mayflower’s Captain reluctantly ordered her sails to be freed and to return downwind to seek the shelter of Cape Cod Harbour. It is bitterly cold on deck but a small group gather, hearts filled with the mixed emotions of trepidation and excitement of what lies before them. This scene brings back memories of my own adventures sailing across the Atlantic, and the stark contrast in experiences of that journey made 367 years later.

Edition: 20 (plus 2 artists proofs)

Image Size: 180 x 180 mm

Paper size: 220 x 250 mm

Price: £60 – to be put on sale for the exhibition at God’s House Tower