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John Akomfrah’s Arnolfini exhibition nominated for South Bank Sky Arts Award

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards are the only awards in the world that focus on the arts in their entirety, honouring the very best of British culture and achievement from opera to pop; film to the theatre.

We're delighted to announce that our exhibition of John Akomfrah’s acclaimed video installation Vertigo Sea, has been nominated in the hotly contested ‘Visual Arts’ category. Congratulations to John and his team.

Also nominated are Artangel for Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison and George Shaw’s exhibition, My Back to Nature, at the National Gallery. The winner will be announced on Sunday 9 July at The Savoy, London at a ceremony presented by Lord Melvyn Bragg.

Arnolfini hosted the UK premier of Vertigo Sea from 16 January – 2 March 2016 and the work is now showing across the UK, as a result of an award to Arnolfini to lead a national tour with financial support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. 

The three-screen film, first seen at the 56th Venice Biennale as part of Okwui Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures exhibition, is a sensual, poetic and cohesive meditation on man’s relationship with the sea and exploration of its role in the history of slavery, migration, and conflict. Fusing archival material, readings from classical sources, and newly shot footage, the work explicitly highlights the greed, horror and cruelty of the whaling industry. This material is then juxtaposed with shots of African migrants crossing the ocean in a journey fraught with danger in hope of a better life and thus delivering a timely and potent reminder of the current issues around global migration, the refugee crisis, slavery, alongside ecological concerns.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye won the 2016 South Bank Sky Arts Award Visual Arts category for her exhibition Verses After Dusk at the Serpentine Galleries ahead of Cornelia Parker’s British Library exhibition Magna Carta (An Embroidery) and Banksy’s Dismaland. 

John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea was produced by Smoking Dogs Films with the support of Blidmuseet Umea and BAC-Baltic Art Centre, the Swedish Arts Council, Sharjah Art Foundation, BBC Natural History Unit, British Film Institute, Arts Council England and Tyneside Cinema Gallery.

The work is currently touring in the UK with financial support awarded to Arnolfini through Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. 

Having previously been presented at The Exchange, Penzance and Turner Contemporary, Margate, Vertigo Sea is currently on show at The Whitworth, Manchester until 23 July 2017.

Your final chance to catch the tour and experience this seminal work will be at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh from 21 October 2017 - 27 January 2018. 


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Friday 18 October 2019 to Saturday 19 October 2019, 20:30 to 22:00

£12/£10 + BF Book

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