A new exhibition celebrates Cork’s motto – ‘a safe harbour for ships’
It’s a fitting choice for the first post-lockdown exhibition.
The Crawford Art Gallery has opened a new collection of over 40 artworks celebrating Cork’s motto ‘Statio Bene Fide Carinis’ (translated as ‘a safe harbour for ships).
Addressing the maritime traditions of Cork and the south of Ireland, Statio Bene considers the concept of a ‘safe harbour’ as an anchorage in cultural, social, and other terms.
The exhibition features artworks describing Cork’s global connectedness, its harbour and river, shipping and leisure, defence, and mobility of people as well as traditions and historic views of Cork Harbour.
Presented in the Long Room of the city’s old Custom House (Crawford Art Gallery), the exhibition coincides with the 300th anniversary of the world’s oldest established yacht club – Royal Cork Yacht Club.
‘A natural maritime haven’
“Cork, its city and environs have for centuries benefited from the natural maritime haven that is its harbour,” explains Dr Michael Waldron, Assistant Curator of Collections at Crawford Art Gallery.
“Amongst the largest of its kind in the world, Cork Harbour has been a porous site of settlement, migration, international trade, fortification, and leisure, and holds deep cultural and economic relevance.”
For the first time, Crawford Art Gallery will also display a selection of prints from Jamie Murphy’s series Albert, Ernest and the Titanic (2012).
“Cork Harbour was the last port of call for the Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912,” Waldron notes.
“It underscores the risk of leaving a safe harbour, and Jamie Murphy’s arresting images help us to tell that story. The ink the artist used on the label for this portfolio of prints was even made from coal salvaged from Titanic’s wreck site.”
Drawn from Crawford Art Gallery’s own extensive collection, Statio Bene includes works by Willem Van de Velde (1611-1693), Sarah Grace Carr (1794-1837), George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), Norah McGuinness (1901-1980), David Lilburn (b.1950), among others.
Crawford Art Gallery is open from Monday–Saturday, 10am–5pm , with a late opening on Thursdays until 8pm . On Sundays and Bank Holidays the Gallery opens from 11am – 4pm. Entry is free.