'Pungent smelling' sea artwork on display in Hull

Medusa exhibit Image copyright Lucy and Jorge Orta
Image caption The Raft of the Medusa exhibit is part of Hull's City of Culture programme

Sensory artwork featuring the "pungent smell of decaying rubber, seaweed, wooden planks and oil drums" has gone on display in Hull.

Raft of the Medusa, by Lucy and Jorge Orta, is based on a painting of the same name by Gericault, depicting the aftermath of a shipwreck.

The work is about "remembering the many lives lost at sea", the artists said.

Somewhere Becoming Sea, another exhibition at the same venue, explores Hull's relationship with the North Sea.

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Both exhibitions are part of Hull's City of Culture programme, and are taking place at Humber Street Gallery from 5 April.

Tsunami debris

Commenting on the exhibition, Ms Orta said the treacherous conditions faced by the doomed sailors in Gericault's work reminds us of the fateful journeys of slaves and migrants throughout history.

"Even more so today, we all play witness to the perilous journeys of the thousands of refugees navigating the oceans in search of a safe haven."

She said the exhibit related to Hull's maritime history, and its story moving forward.

The Raft of the Medusa exhibit is also said to incorporate debris from the Japanese tsunami in 2011, found washed up on the shores of Alaska four years later.

Image copyright Esther Johnson
Image caption The Somewhere Becoming Sea exhibition explores Hull's relationship with the North Sea

Steven Bode, curator of Somewhere Becoming Sea, said the exhibition explores Hull's longstanding place as a gateway to the North Sea.

He said: "Hull has been at the sharp end of some recent economic changes - the decline of the local fishing industry, shifting patterns of maritime trade - but it is also potentially at the forefront of a new relationship to the sea, through things like the green energy of wind turbines."

Image copyright Somewhere Becoming Sea
Image caption It features a series of films and photographs, including this shot by Lavinia Greenlaw
Image copyright Cecilia Stenbom
Image caption The exhibition also features the work of Cecilia Stenbom

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