Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3BF
An exhibition of work by Maya Ramsey
Ramsay makes work inspired by the subject of conflict. Using unique techniques, she lifts surfaces from sites of conflict, bringing the materiality of the subject closer to the viewer.
For ‘Countless’, Ramsay has made twenty-nine rubbings from the graves of migrants who died at sea whilst trying to reach Europe. The first recorded shipwreck of a migrant boat in Europe occurred twenty-nine years ago, in 1988.
The rubbings were taken from four cemeteries in Sicily. The majority of drowned migrants’ bodies remain unidentified and their graves are marked with a number instead of a name. Ramsay said: “We are used to seeing images in the media of migrants’ bodies packed into boats and migrants’ bodies packed into body bags.
How many of us see those migrants as people, as individuals, rather than as bodies or as numbers? And what happens to the bodies of migrants who die at sea?”.
The exhibition includes photographic images and video footage from the cemeteries, as well as works from Ramsay’s ‘Wall Talk’ series. ‘Wall Talk’ is an ongoing project in which the artist has been using a unique process to lift surfaces from sites relating to conflict, for the past ten years.