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National Glass Centre  

National Glass Centre  

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art  

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art  

 



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Ships are the workhorses of globalisation, slowly but surely transporting materials, influence and power across the globe. Built to last and to survive the rigors of a life at sea, they require huge amounts of energy and force to be dismantled at the end of their working lives.

Their structures contain vast quantities of hazardous materials that during the ship’s working life are safely contained within its walls; there to propel the ship and to protect its inhabitants. At the end of the ship's life, these materials become reanimated, problematic and dangerous. Once disturbed, the very materials that protected life, now become a threat.

Created in collaboration with social scientists, A Fish Out of Water documents the breaking of the RFA Grey Rover over two years in a dry dock in Liverpool, UK; a country where health & safety and environmental protection are paramount. Currently, through loopholes in the law, most EU ships are broken up on the beaches of Asia at huge cost to life and surrounding environment. Why are more of our own ships not broken here in the EU? Is this even feasible?