The Shipping Forecast - 3D virtual exhibtion by Paul Greene

The Shipping Forecast

Mo, 04/03/2017Fr, 04/03/2020

The Shipping forecast is broadcast daily on BBC radio. It is designed to alert seafarers to the dangers of the constantly shifting weather conditions that characterize the seas around the British Isles. These seas divide into 31 named regions which, over time, have acquired an almost liturgical familiarity.

The UK itself lies at the junction of four great wind systems: Polar Maritime, Polar Continental, Tropical Maritime and Arctic. These systems are the invisible guiding hand governing the UK’s sea conditions. Their unseen collision is the reason seas can be wildly different between one region and another, even when those regions are adjacent, and even at different times on the same day.

This relentless mutability can be seen as a metaphor for the UK itself where the cultural landmass is continually being shaped, reformed and re-aligned by the forces of rapid and striking change. In this work Greene explores our response to this change and how that response is conditioned by deeper ideas about nationhood and identity.

Each sea region is given its own, essentially arbitrary, Union Jack variant, underlining the tangential relationship between geography and culture. The fixed graphic identity of national flags can be seen as an oddly successful attempt to bond these two essentially disparate ideas. In this work Greene explores the mysterious power the UK landmass has to evoke profound feelings about, nationality, patriotism, identity and belonging, and the catalytic role the Union Jack flag has in triggering these thoughts and ideas. An examination of this reflex response is a defining feature of this work.

Paul Greene


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