40 years ago artist Bas Jan Ader went missing at sea during an attempt to sail solo across the Atlantic from Cape Cod to Falmouth, Cornwall for what became his final work In Search of The Miraculous. The influence of Ader’s work can be felt within the practice of many contemporary artists, from big names like Mat Collishaw and Francis Alÿs who featured in Newlyn Art Gallery’s 2015 international summer exhibition - named after Jan Ader's final piece - to developing artists and recent art graduates. Perhaps unsurprisingly generations of students from Falmouth School of Art have been drawn to the works of this enigmatic and ground-breaking artist. The Wanderers was a programme of one-off events; six new commissions by graduates of Falmouth University who have been influenced by Ader’s practice, from the pursuit of precarious journeys to the poetry of futility.
Throughout August and September 2015, Falmouth and the Carrick Roads played host to a succession of live events, installations and artefacts. Audiences were be invited to discover their own pace in a night time exploration of the Trelissick Estate led by Go Happen; lose themselves in the streets of Falmouth with a map created by Guido Lanteri Laura that questions our relationship with fact; and be guided through a myriad fateful journeys by Chris Taylor. Rhys Morgan’s sound piece in the foyer to Falmouth Library and Art Gallery was in situ throughout, splicing silence, stories, poems, borrowed words and music. Then, in early September James Hankey appeared on the waters surrounding Falmouth, making his own futile journey across surface of the sea.
Blair Todd, Exhibitions Curator at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, said, "When developing In Search Of The Miraculous I'd always hoped the exhibition would spread beyond Newlyn Art Gallery and Field Notes have created a perfect parallel programme. The events are thoughtful, playful and adventurous - follow The Wanderers, they will take you somewhere new."
Field Notes CIC are grateful that The Wanderers was supported using public funding by Arts Council England and FEAST. As well as funding from School for Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall and Falmouth University with the generous support of Newlyn Art Gallery, National Trust, Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth Library, The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club and Falmouth Town Council.
More information and images on the programme to follow.