No New Worlds

Our visiting PhD researcher at CSNI, Laura Hopes, is currently exhibiting Speedwell, a commissioned public artwork, as part of Mayflower 400. Laura is part of a collective called Still/Moving, along with Martin Hampton and Léonie Hampton. For more details on the project and extensive documentation, see https://stillmoving.org/projects/speedwell.

In 1620 the people on board the Mayflower went to settle in what they called the New World. The Speedwell, a ship intended to sail alongside the Mayflower, was unable to make the journey across the Atlantic. By using random combinations of three words (No, New, Worlds), Speedwell asks us to think about our world, this damaged planet, and how we arrived at this pivotal moment in its history. It offers multiple readings; constantly shifting between different illuminated phrases, questioning the historic conceit that there ever was a ‘New World’; and asks us to imagine new worlds of living, caring and dying well together.

The work also forms part of Laura’s PhD submission at University of Plymouth, an AHRC-funded PhD entitled Being Vulnerable: Distances of the Sublime Anthropocene.