16.10.2019 - 16.10.2019

Memory of Water: Shipyard (redux)

The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre will host the second artistic residency curated by Agnieszka Wołodźko and produced by Katarzyna Szewciów and Veronika Uziak for the Creative Europe project, Memory of Water. Artists from Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Scotland and Sweden will carry out artistic actions and interventions related to local cultural heritage: the former Gdańsk Shipyard will be both the subject and location of their work.

Following a research visit in June, the artists will test the potential of the post-industrial area on the quays in response to the rapid redevelopment of this part of the city. The thematic threads of their productions will reflect the topics discussed by local stakeholders during a series of Urban Labs held at the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre on the future of the Shipyard:  Memory, Art, Water & Public Spaces, Production, Green Spaces & Ecology, and Dialogue.

Irish artist Mary Conroy will focus on the tools used by shipyard workers. She will make casts and molds of these industrial materials to create seed-bomb sculptures that will contribute to the on-going rewilding of the Shipyard. The sculptures will be located on Martwa Wisła quay where the Forge was originally sited following the purchase of farmland in the nineteenth century. By next Spring, the sculptures will disintegrate as flowers will grow from the seeds restoring biodiversity and green habitats to the area.

Scottish-American artist ts Beall will also explore the natural environment of the Shipyard; this time, the flowers that were grown by workers. In a symbolic gesture, she will outline the footprint of a greenhouse which was located next to the Director’s building in the 1950s. She will replant the flower beds on Toolmakers Street and invite the public to take part in embroidery workshops of flower motifs on Crane M3. Through these activities, the artist commemorates the women workers, specifically the pipe insulators who stitched with toxic materials and whose graves she will visit with mementoes to pay her respects.

Iwona Zając from Gdańsk will present The Broadcast in reference to the pirate Radio Solidarność (Radio Solidarity) which operated during martial law in the early 1980s. At Gate No. 2, she will organise an audience with Piotr Jagielski, who supervised the technical equipment of Radio Solidarność, and with Maciej Pawlak, who was its editor and author of the book “Radio Solidarność in the Tri-City”. During this event, the public will listen to selected archival programmes and the artist’s recordings of former shipyard workers.

Swedish filmmaker Jonas Myrstrand will screen his film VR in Shipyard of Gothenburg at the Baltic Sea Cultural Center. Once one of the largest shipyards in the world, nothing remains of Gothenburg’s shipbuilding past as regretfully all traces of this industrial heritage have been lost. Through his virtual reality film, viewers can get a sense of the sights and sounds of the former Shipyard in Sweden. During the residency, he will also make film recordings of the activities of his fellow artists in the Gdańsk Shipyard.

Siegfried Vynck from Belgium will create a bespoke mural inspired by the interior and exterior industrial spaces of the Shipyard. He will repurpose a shipping container as his ‘canvas’ to create scenes from the shipyard past and present using spray-can paint. The container will then be exhibited beside Crane M3, a new destination for locals and visitors to engage with the history and heritage of the site.

Greek artist Ira Brami will work with a retired Shipyard employee in an experimental promenade performance telling the story of her personal and professional life as a pipe insulator and light crane operator. The performance will involved local school children both as audience and participants. The goal of this project is to find creative ways to engage younger people in Gdańsk with the stories of the Solidarity movement and the legacy of the Shipyard.


Project Manager (Poland): Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda

Project Leader: Iwona Preis

Artistic Director: Mary Conlon