Oil paintings, Fine art

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Winter afternoon - container ships off Felixstowe, 1993-4

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display
Publication(s)Treasures of the National Maritime Museum
Gloria Clifton and Nigel Rigby
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Object details:

Object ID BHC4249
Description The Museum commissioned this painting as part of an initiative to collect the work of major living artists. This was at a time when it was closely involved with the expanding Port of Felixstowe to record modern methods of cargo handling in order to help explain the continuing importance of sea-trade to Britain, despite the fact that ships are now largely unseen by the general population. Far fewer British people work at sea or in maritime industry than even in the early 20th century, air travel has replaced ships (except for cruising) and shipping that used to throng and substantially employ major populated port cities like London now docks in often remote mechanized container terminals on the outer rim of motorway systems. One of the qualities in this wide-angle view towards Trinity Terminal is an element of this remoteness and alienation: an unintended result was the disappointment it caused to the Port of Lowestoft, who facilitated it, apparently in the expectation of a more traditionally 'heroic' interpretation of their industry. Of his East Anglian landscapes John Wonnacott has written: '...I paint as I live dominated by the anarchic splendours of the East Anglian sky. Sky provides the wild card in my painting. It floods each landscape with particular atmospheric light while fighting the elaborate formal plotting of my geometry.'
Date made 1993-94

Artist/Maker Wonnacott, John
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials Oil on panel
Measurements Frame: 1626 mm x 2104 mm x 79 mm; Painting: 1519 mm x 2000 mm; Overall weight: 87.8 kg;
  • Winter afternoon - container ships off Felixstowe, 1993-4 (BHC4249)
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