We are metaphorically skin boats sustained by, and inseparable from, a dangerously changing global ocean. Salt Water Skin Boats is an inter-arts project by visual artist Erica Grimm in collaboration with acclaimed sound artist Sheinagh Anderson and artist/arborist Tracie Stewart. This large-scale installation and experimental soundscape draws analogies between human bodies and the global ocean. Sculptural forms based on ancient water-going vessels and constructed from willow, dogwood, fig, and cedar branches, cheesecloth, animal skin and gut, bathymetric maps of oceans, and layers of wax are suspended in a dimly-lit gallery and accompanied by a haunting soundscape. An embodied experience, the exhibition calls attention to the life-sustaining connections between the precariously balanced chemistry of the ocean and the human body.
Image credit: Erica L. Grimm in collaboration with Tracie Stewart and Sheinagh Anderson, Lifeboat 3, 2017 , dogwood branches, cheesecloth, bathymetric maps of the ocean, beeswax, binder twine, LED lights, bow to stern 13’10”. Photo by Sharon Huget.