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Temporary exhibitions

Majestic Monotony

19.4.2016 – 4.9.2016

Sebastien Leclercq & Tasha Doremus. Photographs of modern seafaring in Finland.

French/English artist couple Sebastien Leclercq and Tasha Doremus began their photography project in July 2013, on a cargo ship sailing from Rauma, Finland, to Hull, England, via Santander in Spain. Following this, the artists spent a month between January and February 2014 on various ships off the coasts of Finland, Sweden and Germany.

Leclercq and Doremus photographed people at work in ports and on the decks, bridges and engine rooms of cargo ships. They sailed on a tug boat and were given a lift on a pilot vessel on a freezing night. The couple enjoyed the hospitality of the crew and shared delicious food with them in the mess.

Despite their documentary nature, the exhibition photographs and short videos can even be considered romantic in spirit. While there is no escaping the occasionally monotonous nature of work, the maritime surroundings lend a certain majesty to the drudgery. The pictures record the simple beauty of torrential rain, freezing winds and the glimmer of sunlight.

Many thanks to the shipowners and pilotage authorities that enabled the photography project and welcomed the artists on board their vessels: Godby Shipping, Meriaura, Finnlines, Langh Ship, Alfons Håkans, Wasaline and Finnpilot.

The exhibition was produced by RaumArs Artist in Residence Programme in collaboration with Rauma
Maritime Museum.
Misana hull pilot reflection July 2013.

Misana storm approaching July 2013.

Misida bleeding pipes Jan 2014.

Photos: Sebastien Leclercq and Tasha Doremus


Faith, Hope, Love - Sailor Tattoos

13.5.2016 – 11.9.2016

Matters close to the heart were immortalised on the skin.

The Faith, Hope and Love exhibition explores the history of sailors' tattoos through a unique tattoo design collection. What do these old designs tell us? Can they help us to experience what it was like to work on the frequently dangerous seas

Many tattoo designs are symbolic and expressive of hopes and fears that were perhaps never uttered aloud. They communicate the fear of death, longing for home and the hope of reuniting with a much-loved fiancée. Matters close to the heart were immortalised on the skin. Tattoos of dragons and tigers, on the other hand, represent power and danger.

Sailors' tattoos are more than mere decoration – they reveal the hidden depths of those who bear them. Tattooed skin tells a range of stories about gender and sexuality. Why have so many men had tattoos of women made on their skin throughout the decades? Why are pictures of men almost entirely missing from tattoo designs?

Nowadays, many people decorate their skin with traditional tattoos similar to those which once adorned sailors. But is their meaning the same? Who opts for a butterfly, a pin-up girl or a sailing ship? What kind of tattoo would you choose?

Created by the Maritime Museum of Sweden, the exhibition was brought to the Maritime Centre Vellamo by the Maritime Museum of Finland.

Tatuerade sjöman

Sjöhistoriska, Stockholm.