Countless by Maya Ramsay

2 Apr 2017 – 4 Jun 2017

Event times

Wednesday - Sunday 11 - 4

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • The Hard Interchange is is five minutes walk through Gunwharf Quays
  • Portsmouth Harbour Station is five minutes walk through Gunwharf Quays
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Aspex is delighted to welcome back artist Maya Ramsay, winner of ‘EMERGENCY’ 2015, as she returns to Portsmouth with ‘Countless’, a solo show this April.


Aspex is delighted to welcome back artist Maya Ramsay, winner of ‘EMERGENCY’ 2015, as she returns to Portsmouth with ‘Countless’, a solo show this April.

Maya Ramsay uses unique processes to lift surfaces from historically and politically important sites.

For the past ten years Ramsay has been focussing on lifting surfaces from sites that have a relationship to conflict, bringing the materiality of conflict closer to the viewer.

For ‘Countless’, the artist has made twenty-nine rubbings from the graves of migrants who died at sea whilst trying to reach Europe. The first recorded shipwreck of a migrant boat in Europe occurred twenty-nine years ago.

The rubbings were taken from four cemeteries in Sicily. The majority of drowned migrants’ bodies remain unidentified and their graves are marked with a number instead of a name.

Ramsay said: “We are used to seeing images in the media of migrants’ bodies packed into boats and migrants’ bodies packed into body bags.

How many of us see those migrants as people, as individuals, rather than as bodies or as numbers? And what happens to the bodies of migrants who die at sea?”.

The exhibition includes photographic images and video footage from the cemeteries, as well as works from Ramsay’s ‘Wall Talk’ series. ‘Wall Talk’ is an ongoing project in which the artist has been using a unique process to lift surfaces from sites relating to conflict.

‘Wall Talk’ was awarded the London Group Solo Show Award (2013) and was shortlisted for the Artraker Award (2014). Maya Ramsay completed her BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design in 1998 and an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art in 2009.

Ramsay won ‘EMERGENCY’, Aspex’s international open submission competition for artists, designers and makers in 2015. All submissions are viewed by a selection panel. Shortlisted artists work appears in a group show at Aspex and a winner is chosen to receive a monetary prize and a solo exhibition.

Director of Aspex, Joanne Bushnell said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Maya again and proud to show this deeply thought provoking body of work”.

The open call for ‘EMERGENCY’ will launch soon. Details will be made available via Aspex’s website.


‘Countless’ opens on Saturday 1 April, 4 - 6pm, and remains open until 4 June 2017.

Related Events

‘Countless’ Preview

Saturday 1 April, 4 - 6pm

Join us to celebrate the opening of ‘Countless’.




Thursday 20 April, 6pm

Maya Ramsay will be discussing her exhibition ‘Countless’, the inspiration behind her work and her artistic process.

£3 per person


Exhibiting artistsToggle

maya ramsay

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