‘Borders are strange places, they’re no-man’s lands’, says artist Lucy Wood, explaining the exploration of immigration and migrant communities in her’forthcoming show, Vicini Lontani/Distant Neighbours.3: Lampedusa.
The show is the third in a series of highly political and radical art shows exploring migrant communities, Distant Neighbours, focussing on migration routes around the world.
Wood’s show explores the horror of human trafficking – as highlighted in the recent horrific deaths of 25 refugees by asphyxiation en route to Lampedusa. The artist’s work, however, its not simply a spotlight on the macabre and the horrific, but a poignant, revealing look at the touching tales of humanity offered by those who help migrant people at their most vulnerable.
The gallery space willed be filled with boats and detritus, alongside screen prints, sculptural works, photographs and a series of ten vide pieces, screening interviews with involved parties such as firemen and indigenous communities.
The videos will be embedded into the installation, meaning visitors navigate their way around the boat and the debris to explore the works.
‘It’s a messy show because it’s a messy image- that’s what it’s about,’ says James Payne of Payne Shurvell Gallery, who curated the show. ‘It’s about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.’
To research the work, Wood frequently visits places such as Lampedusa, an island situated between Tunisia and Sicily, which since early 2000s, has become a prime transit point for immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia wanting to enter Europe.
Wood says, ‘It’s the third in the series – it’s like a visual book looking at global migration.’
She adds, ‘It’s almost biblical how they cross as far as lots of things are concerned- they don’t have a compass or navigational equipment, and there’s not enough petrol – the boats run out and they’re left floating around.
‘It’s quite a heavy place to research it.’
The show runs from 9 September-22 October at Payne Shurvell ,16 Hewett Street, London EC2A