9 July 2020
By Tom Collins
It’s called ‘Statio Bene’ and draws together over forty artworks describing the traditions and historic views of Cork Harbour. The exhibition features artworks describing Cork’s global connectedness, its harbour and river, shipping and leisure, defence, and mobility of people.
Addressing the maritime traditions of Cork and the south of Ireland, Statio Bene considers the concept of a ‘safe harbour’ as an anchorage in cultural, social, and other terms.
Presented in the Long Room of the city’s old Custom House (which was the former purpose of the Crawford Art Gallery premises), the exhibition is inspired by Cork’s motto – Statio Bene Fide Carinis (a safe harbour for ships). The exhibition also coincides with the 300th anniversary of the world’s oldest established yacht club – Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Dr Michael Waldron, Assistant Curator of Collections at Crawford Art Gallery, says: “Cork, its city and environs have for centuries benefited from the natural maritime haven that is its harbour. Amongst the largest of its kind in the world, Cork Harbour has been a porous site of settlement, migration, international trade, fortification, and leisure, and holds deep cultural and economic relevance.”
For the first time, Crawford Art Gallery will also display a selection of prints from Jamie Murphy’s series Albert, Ernest and the Titanic (2012).
“Cork Harbour was the last port of call for the Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912,” Waldron also notes. “It underscores the risk of leaving a safe harbour, and Jamie Murphy’s arresting images help us to tell that story. The ink the artist used on the label for this portfolio of prints was even made from coal salvaged from Titanic’s wreck site.”
Drawn from Crawford Art Gallery’s own extensive collection, Statio Bene includes works by Willem Van de Velde (1611-1693), Sarah Grace Carr (1794-1837), George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), Norah McGuinness (1901-1980), David Lilburn (b.1950), among others.