Curated by Adam Carr
By Boat (Farewell) is inspired, in part, by the story of José Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman from El Salvador who was blown off course from the coast of Chiapas, Mexico in November 2012. After being diverted from his route, Alvarenga sailed adrift for 5,500 miles until, 13 months later, the wind took him back to the mainland and he was discovered in the Marshall Islands in January 2014.
In the visual arts the voyage, and in particular the boat, has been looked at and used by artists for centuries, primarily as means to represent romance, longing, and the desire to escape, discover and renew. Connecting with the tale of Alvarenga and issues that mark its uniqueness – including loss, hope, survival and duration – By Boat (Farewell) follows in this art historical lineage, casting such ideas from a contemporary viewpoint through artworks by a number of international artists.
While the backdrop of the exhibition is tied to Alvarenga’s incredible and as some have debated questionable story, so too are the circumstances in which the exhibition takes place. By Boat (Farewell) inaugurates the gallery’s programme, a new gallery directed by José García Torres who leaves behind his former gallery to now journey in a clearer direction… Saying farewell though returning.