Visual Arts

Mariner: A painted ship upon a painted ocean

- The EdgeAndrew Brownsword Gallery

An exhibition exploring the connection between history and the present day, inspired by Coleridge’s epic poem.


Inspired by one of the most influential poems in the English language, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Mariner looks at what connects us across history and the present, from the desire to travel – to journey out and back again – to the role of intuition and imagination, the making of mistakes and the process of recovery and redemption through knowledge and understanding.  Mariner showcases a series of new commissions and artworks that consider the contemporary resonance of the poem.

Mariner marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower from the UK to the United States of America in 1620. This exhibition brings together artists and scientists to tease out what we might learn from the past whilst exploring the most pressing of issues that the poem seems to speak to in the present day, including marine pollution, migration, hidden histories and human vulnerability and isolation. In this way, Mariner is an epic tale retold for a 21st-century audience, with an urgent ecological message whereby we all become the mariner.

The exhibition includes works from Nicola Bealing, Vija Celmins, Angela Cockayne, Mary Evans, Naomi Frears, Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne, Justin Brice Guariglia, Nadav Kander, Serena Korda, Linder, Joe Lyward, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Grace Schwindt and Richard Wentworth.

Mariner is curated by Sarah Chapman, Angela Cockayne and Philip Hoare and delivered by The Arts Institute and The Box, Plymouth partnership, in association with Andrew Brownsword Gallery, University of Bath and John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton.


24 January – 21 March 2020
Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm

Join us for the preview on Thursday 23 January, from 4.30-7.30pm

Free, all welcome


Please be aware two of the films in the exhibition contain nudity.

Find out more in our gallery guide and by reading Coleridges’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.



Thu 23 Jan · 4.30-7.30pm · Free

Free Spotlight Tours
Every Wed at 12.15pm
Every other Sat at 1.15pm

After Hours
Thu 6 Feb · 5-8pm · Free

Family Takeover
Sat 8 & 22 Feb, 7 & 21 Mar
11am-2pm Free, donations welcome

Interactive Storytelling
Thu 20 Feb · various times · £3

Roundtable Discussion
Thu 5 Mar · 5.30-6.30pm · Free

Artist Talk: Mary Evans
Thu 12 Mar · 6-7pm · Free

Student-led tours
Fri 20 Mar · 1pm / 1.30pm / 2.15pm · Free

Collage workshop with Marian Hill
Sat 21 Mar · 10.30am-3pm · £22

This exhibition was first presented at The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth. After Bath, this national touring exhibition will visit John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton 2 May–4 July 2020




Image credit: ZubenElgenubi: The Price to be Paid, a film by Serena Korda, 2019

Made me think about the sea in a new way.


Previews & Talks

Artist Talk: Mary Evans

Art Studio
Artist Mary Evans is joined in conversation with Will Cooper to discuss her new commission for Mariner: a painted ship upon a painted ocean.

Special Events

Student-led Tours

A series of exhibition tours led by students from the University of Bath.


Collage Workshop with Marian Hill

Art Studio
A creative session experimenting with paper collage.

Previews & Talks

Wednesday Spotlight Tour

- The EdgeAndrew Brownsword Gallery
Free, bitesize introductory tours on our current exhibition

Previews & Talks

Saturday Spotlight Tour

- The EdgeAndrew Brownsword Gallery
Free, bitesize introductory tours on our current exhibition


Family Takeover

- The Edge
Fun and informal creative activities that explore our current exhibition.