A Hundred Seas Rising

18 May 2012 – 2 Sep 2012

Event times

Daily 11am - 4pm at Aspex

Cost of entry



Travel Information

  • Train: London Waterloo (1hr 30mins) or London Victoria (2hrs 10mins), Bristol (2hrs) and South Wales (3hrs 15mins)

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A Hundred Seas Rising


PLEASE NOTE THIS EXHIBITION TAKES PLACE AT ASPEX, (lead project partners), The Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3BF

RELAY - Contemporary art in the South East of England - Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. A Hundred Seas Rising commissioned by Aspex, University of Portsmouth CCI SPACE Off-site Programme and Quay Arts, Isle of Wight in response to London 2012.

New artist commission by Suki Chan responding to A Tale of Two Cities, the 1859 novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before, and during, the French revolution. This reference is the thread that ties themes of 'Revolution', 'the Sea', 'China', and '19th Century English Literature' to Portsmouth, the town of Dickens' birth. The installation will use school desks, texts and books and the sound of 100 individual voices as a sculptural material, re-imagining Dickens' revolutionary mob sonically by creating surges of ideological thought that reverberate across the gallery space.

The public have been invited to participate in the imagination of modern day revolutions. These are personal, social, cultural, philosophical, technological, as well as political revolutions. The topics for discussion range from small personal revolutions that improve the daily life of one person, to ambitious ideas attempting to solve recurrent social ills, such as housing, distribution of money, debt, social welfare, education and the prison system. Participants were encouraged to describe the cause or structure they would like to transform, the motivating ideology for this change - including books that have inspired their ideas, how they would mobilise others, the objectives of the revolution and how this would be achieved, i.e. through peaceful or violent means.
It is intended that the voices represent a cross-section of views from different cultural and social backgrounds. The voice of each individual is assigned to a school desk, with desks arranged in rows like a classroom environment. The University of Portsmouth have been working closely with the artist to record voices of participants of all ages in the School of Creative Technologies' specialist sound and music recording centre and mobile recording studio.

During the exhibition to be held at Aspex, an offsite roaming 'revolution' desk capturing additional voices will be located at various sites around the city of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight including Quay Arts. A digital broadcast of A Hundred Seas Rising will take place at Quay Arts, Isle of Wight.

Further information

Charles Dickens' bicentenary is being celebrated in Portsmouth, Kent, London and internationally in 2012.

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