Skeleton: Sculpture inspired by boats

Until 30 April 2017

Skeleton: New sculpture inspired by Old Boats is a beautiful sculpture exhibition by our first ever ‘artist in residence’.

Rob Johnsey, a boatbuilder and sculptor, is not only the museum’s first ‘artist in residence’ but a long serving and dedicated member of the Museum team, having volunteered for our Boat Collection team for over 10 years.

A man of many talents: Falmouth University Fine Art graduate, sailor, sculptor and boat builder

Rob is a keen sailor and once owned a traditional wooden boat. His museum voluntary work has included boat maintenance and restoration and, more recently, designing and carving the fabulous dragon figurehead for the 2015 -16 Viking exhibition entrance here in the museum.

He holds a degree in Civil Engineering and a BA in Fine Art from Falmouth University.

The exhibition is called ‘Skeleton – New sculptures inspired by old boats’ and is a solo show of new sculptural works inspired by historic boats and other forms in the Museum’s collections.

Rob works mostly in wood and has adopted a variety of styles for his pieces.


Some are inspired directly by museum exhibits such as the Coracles. Other pieces draw on broad boat themes such as clinker construction or repeated patterns of boat ribs. Sometimes he has taken the reclaimed wood from an old boat and made it into something new. He likes to contrast synthetic or mechanical forms with those from the natural world.

Boats have always been made by people but they often adopt the forms of aquatic plants or creatures and Rob’s sculptures reflect this.

A new way to engage with historic boats from Cornwall

The exhibition provides a tactile and visually appealing experience, and a new way to engage with historic boats from Cornwall and around the world, showcasing Rob’s skill and artistic flair with wood and 3-D forms. It also takes a look at the process of making sculpture.

Come and see these stunning works of art up close and learn about this Falmouth University Fine Art graduate and his work.

All works are available for sale.