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Jo Chapman
Boston Buoys

Boston Buoys 2021

Boston, Lincolnshire

Commisioner: Transported

Completion: Spring 2021

The navigation buoys are a strong symbol of the maritime heritage of Boston, the proposal uses the buoys in a new and fresh way, to present them to a new audience as artworks. Each of the buoys is unique and has its own map in the marks, the layers of paint, the fragments of painted text and structural additions.

The theme of the sculptures is one of journeys and migration, the buoys are relics of the sea, they each have a story to tell of the ships that passed, the seas they helped navigate and ports they have been in. The sculptures are entwined with flotsam and jetsam and are left in their natural state.

The artworks are intended to bring together the past and present through the telling of personal stories of people living in Boston. The sculptures will incorporate narratives of migration. The sculptures are palimpsests for this exchange of stories, the term palimpsest is also used in architecture, archaeology, and geomorphology to denote an object made or worked upon for one purpose and later reused for another.

Boston has a long history of connection with the sea and other countries, as part of the Hanseatic league it traded with the Baltic was a port for many exotic goods from around the world. Contemporary Boston also has a large population of people from these same parts of Europe and is today a functioning port.