The Sea Within Us: Iconically Maritime in Fashion and Design
July 20, 2012 June 14, 2013
Originally conceived and displayed in 2009 in Bath, this exhibit has been adapted for this current installation at PORTLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY.
The Sea Within Us : Iconically Maritime in Fashion & Design explores the connections between the historical artifacts in our collection to modern objects and every-day aspects of our culture, that transform and exploit the symbolism, design, and utility inherent in the maritime world. Compasses, anchors, chains, lighthouses, ship’s wheels - these “antique” nautical artifacts have become symbols within a broader social context, acquiring meaning beyond their original purposes, that keeps them alive as useful ideas in daily life. Packaging, entertainment, advertising, apparel, tattoos, the very language we speak: all are awash with maritime connections, both blatant and hidden.
Included in The Sea Within Us are numerous objects and ephemera endowed with maritime brands both old and new - signs, business cards, containers, china, books, web-pages, etc. - will be on view, as will a large group of original advertising graphics from 19th and 20th century magazines that play on our love of the nautical. Mid-coastal residents have submitted images of their own versions of the classic mariner’s motif, the tattoo, and the stories behind their inkwork. Iconic maritime figures from popular culture, books, movies and other media, are cued up as well, all to show the surprising number of ways the sea lies within us.