In 1859 Charles Baudelaire went to live with his mother in the small harbour town of Honfleur, to try and find solace from the recent break up with his mistress and from the harrowing aftermath of the Fleurs du Mal trial. Here, he spent his days sitting in cafés, watching the boats moor and set sail, come and go.
His mind would wander to lands afar, the boats whispering to him of a place beyond the stale horizon of his homeland. He dreamt of Lisbon, of its climate and light, conductive to thought and calm. Or Holland, or then again, Java, the Baltic or even the North Pole, 'Anywhere! Anywhere! So long as it is out of this world!'
Almost two years ago Craig Barnes and Dmitri Galitzine each left London and set sail on a voyage of their own. They went in search of a place, to use Baudelaire's words, of 'ordre et beaute / Luxe, calme et volupte.' They found themselves in a small cottage in rural Herefordshire and as time passed, they were forced to wonder if perhaps they still needed to dream.
When Shall We Set Sail For Happiness? posits the imaginary into the harsh light of the real. We join the artists as they pass through other lands and times, chasing the horizon like dogs chasing their own tails. First shown at Down Stairs, the gallery that the pair set up adjacent to their Herefordshire cottage, the exhibition has now come home. Whether or not the grass is indeed greener, the artist's wanderlust is shown to manifest itself in the most mundane of realities.