Now Wakes the Sea:
Contemporary art and the ocean

Tacita Dean, Marcel Dinahet, Sean Lynch, Maria McKinney, Conrad Shawcross, Lucy Skaer, Janaina Tschäpe, Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Anna Zacharoff

Curated by Chris Clarke and Kirstie North 

Artists have long been drawn to the ocean. From naturalistic seascapes to vivid depictions of aquatic life, its vastness, timelessness and mutability has fascinated poets, writers and artists for centuries. Titled after the 1963 short story by J.G Ballard, Now Wakes the Sea considers a resurgence of interest in the sea in contemporary art practices, presenting Irish and international artists whose work explores ideas of submersion and salvaging, the lure of the deep for seafarers, and the secrets hidden in its unseen trenches. 

In Ballard’s story, a man experiences nighttime visions of crashing waves encroaching upon his landlocked, suburban neighbourhood. This idea of the seductive but deadly lure of the sea resonates with the artworks in the exhibition which explore the ocean’s attraction, the sense of adventure which comes with taking to the open waves, and the primordial nature of the sea as a repository from which narratives and objects can be reclaimed.


Now Wakes the Sea exhibition catalogue available from the Glucksman shop