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New sculpture exhibition by Rob Johnsey opens

Skeleton: sculpture inspired by old boats by Rob Johnsey at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Photo by Paul Abbitt

Our first ever artist in residence

A new sculpture exhibition

On Friday, 11 November 2016, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, on Discovery Quay Falmouth, will open a new sculpture exhibition by its first ever ‘artist in residence’.

A man of many talents

Rob Johnsey, a boatbuilder, sailor 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 their Boat Collection team for over 10 years.

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

Skeleton: Sculpture inspired by old boats

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.

Rob’s inspiration

Some are inspired directly by museum exhibits such as the Coracles. Other pieces in this exhibition 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.

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.

About Rob

Rob Johnsey worked as a primary school and secondary school teacher with a particular interest in science, maths and technology. He retired from his teacher training post at Warwick University and moved to Falmouth in 2004 to complete a traditional boatbuilding course run by Falmouth Marine School. 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.

Rob graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Falmouth University in 2014 and began the Skeleton sculpture project in May 2015.

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

Skeleton: Sculptures inspired by old boats is showing at the museum until 30 April 2017

Book now

National Maritime Museum
Cornwall Trust
Discovery Quay
TR11 3QY

Tel: +44(0)1326 313388