A new sculpture exhibition by our first ever ‘artist in residence’; Rob Johnsey, a boatbuilder and sculptor, is not only the museum’s first ‘artist in residence’ but a long serving and dedicated member of the Museum team, having volunteered for our Boat Collection team for over 10 years.
The exhibition is called ‘Skeleton – New sculptures inspired by old boats’ and is a solo show of new sculptural works inspired by historic boats and other forms in the Museum’s collections.
Rob works mostly in wood and has adopted a variety of styles for his pieces.
Some are inspired directly by museum exhibits such as the Coracles. Other pieces draw on broad boat themes such as clinker construction or repeated patterns of boat ribs. Sometimes he has taken the reclaimed wood from an old boat and made it into something new. He likes to contrast synthetic or mechanical forms with those from the natural world.
Boats have always been made by people but they often adopt the forms of aquatic plants or creatures and Rob’s sculptures reflect this.
The exhibition provides a tactile and visually appealing experience, and a new way to engage with historic boats from Cornwall and around the world, showcasing Rob’s skill and artistic flair with wood and 3-D forms. It also takes a look at the process of making sculpture.