JENNY POPE connects early innovations in maritime travel with today’s climate crisis in order to address questions of collective anxiety and resilience. The project’s focal point is a hand-built ‘lifeboat’, a sculptural object influenced by coracles – small, rounded vessels used for millennia in Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as in India, Iraq, Tibet and Vietnam.
Made from woven willow and bamboo and lined with clothing donated by local residents, the vessel evokes the possibility of navigating hope in uncertain times. The work encourages conversations around the climate emergency and Portobello’s complex connections with the sea. Following a series of workshops, in which participants can create a common ‘survival kit’, the project culminates with a watery celebration event, launching the vessel with a swim along the shore.
Top image: Coracle Launch (2023) – Photo: Jon Davey
Coracle Launch & Watery Event at Portobello Beach (September 2023)- Photos: Ellie J McMaster
Videography: Rachel McBrinn
Jenny Pope is a sculptor who creates collections of tools from discarded objects to explore psychological change. Her work layers together different components, each with their own past functions and applications, in order to create non-linear narratives and evoke the intangible ways in which we make decisions in response to change and uncertainty. In particular, her work explores anxieties around the climate crisis, questioning the possibilities of hope and perceptions of survival.
She trained at Edinburgh College of Art and exhibits widely in the UK. She has undertaken residencies with Art Walk Porty and commissions with Scottish Society of Artists (SSA). She is also on the council of the SSA, a member of Royal British Society of Sculptors, and is involved in mentoring and coaching artists.
Installation at mote102 (Art Walk Extended, September 2023)- Photo: Sally Jubb
LIST OF WORKS
August 2023 Survival Kit Workshops, Portobello
September 2023 during Art Walk Porty:
VESSEL Group Exhibition, Art Walk Hub Portobello
VESSEL Group Exhibition, mote102 Ferry Rd Leith
Coracle Launch and Watery Event, Portobello Beach