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During the Tall Ships Races in 2011, artist Imi Maufe was on board the Swan. This week Imi returns to Shetland for Wordplay to show LK243 UnderSail, an exhibition of the work she created as a response to her experiences during the Tall Ships Races. She will also be giving a talk about the project and how she uses text in her artistic practice. Imi’s talk is on Tuesday 3 September at 7pm, Screen 2, Mareel, and her exhibition is in the upstairs foyer, Mareel, from Tuesday 3 September - Saturday 7 September.

The exhibition has been formed from work created by her as a result of a two-part residency at sea and on land. The first part, sea based, on board the Swan, the 1900 Shetland based herring drifter, during the Tall Ships’ Races (June – August 2011). The second part, a land based month (August – September 2011), at Taigh Chearsabhagh in North Uist and with Shetland Arts in Shetland.

As well as being the Swan resident artist, Imi Maufe was also a crew member during the races, involving herself in all activities on board and at each port. Imi’s bed and working space was in the boat’s main cabin in one of the larger wooden bunks (2.14m x 60cm x 80cm) screened by a curtain.

The entire exhibition packs into one travelling case that measures just 60 x 60 x 27cm. Inside this protective case is the Bunk Box, which was created to fit at the end of the bunk used by Imi for the duration of the voyage, as a storage unit. During 2012 - 2013, the bunk box has toured the exhibition to Ullapool, North Uist, Newcastle, Bristol, Bergen, Dundee, and now finally back to where it all began, in Shetland.

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Imi Maufe

The residency was organised by a partnership between Shetland Arts, Taigh Chearsabhagh in North Uist, and the Swan Trust.

The LK243 UnderSail residency and exhibition was made possible by two funders. Firstly, Scotland’s Islands, as part of a year long celebration of Scotland’s Islands and their culture. Secondly, Creative Scotland with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Scottish Islands’ Project which aims to enable the development of ambitious new work of national and international significance involving the arts centres in six Scottish islands – Lewis, North Uist, Mull, Skye, Shetland, Orkney.

During her residency, Imi came into contact with over 1,500,000 Tall Ships’ Races visitors, crews from 32 different countries, and 70 vessels from 13 different countries.

This is an exhibition that aims to capture the moments, the adventure and the ordinary and extraordinary events that took place along the way.

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