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UEL fine art lecturer addresses Brexit with boats made of bank notes

Design studio

Artist Susan Stockwell has a new exhibition in Cambridge 

A University of East London artist is addressing Brexit with an exhibition featuring boats made of bank notes from around the world, adrift on a sea of copper coins.

Susan Stockwell’s ‘Trade Winds’ is running from now until 15 October at St Peter's Church, Castle Hill, Cambridge, (next to Kettles Yard). ‘Trade Winds’ addresses questions that are relevant to today’s Brexit conundrum and the larger world of political shifts. The work explores issues of ecology, trade, shifts in global wealth, borders, migration, geo-politics and the UK’s history as a seafaring nation. 

Susan Stockwell explained, “This work provides a quiet space for reflection in which to enjoy the playful, tactile objects whilst also provoking questions about our relationship to money and how it shapes our fragile world, especially in the light of today’s issues around Brexit and ecology. It also invites us to see money’s role beyond our everyday familiar relationship with it.

“My work consists of manufactured domestic products, carefully sourced from around the world. These materials are often organized into monumental shapes - stacks, cascades, seas and windswept constellations. The display of large quantities of this material invokes a notion of collective history and memory.” 

Stockwell’s sculptural installation formed part of a conference at Cambridge University this month called Migrant Knowledge: Early Modern and Beyond.  

An established international artist working across sculpture, installation, collage and film, Stockwell is a senior lecturer at the University who has exhibited widely, including at the Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and locations in the USA, China, Taiwan and other countries.

Stockwell has a busy schedule. Her other upcoming exhibitions include ‘The Sea is the Limit’, from 10 November - 10 December 2019 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar and the ‘Exchange’ exhibition at Aspex Gallery, Vulcan Building, Portsmouth this month, where she is showing Rumpelstiltskin; an installation made of hundreds of meters of cloth feeding through sewing machines to make clothes. Alongside this exhibition she is doing a residency where she is sharing mending skills with local people and creating a flotilla of money boats in locations across the city.

She is also Artist-in-Residence in London at the city law firm Pinsent Masons, where she is placing her work in their public spaces and making a collaborative quilt with staff at 30 Crown Place, Earl Street.