Hannah Hull collaborated with some of the men who worked on the ship instead of working with other artists to create some beautiful knotwork. She writes of her experience on LV21.
“I was most struck by how people continue to interact with a ship that is severed from its original primary function; the decommissioned ship as a ghost, a palimpsest. This sense is accentuated by how the ship was literally dehumanised when the ship became unmanned, with hand bells, etc, becoming obsolete and thus removed.
Yet it continues to operate as a platform for activity – and even exact work – associated with its original function. This was evident in the the artists’ responses to some extent, but most obvious in the interactions of Colin the Morse code expert, the former marine and Bob the ex-mariner. They are using the boat as a platform for enacting secondary activities associated with the ships now-redundant primary function: maintenance, time passing activities, communication and so on.
I became particularly aware of this when Bob was working on some ‘functional’ rope work for the ship which he intimated would have had an extra turn in it had the ship not have been permanently moored. Effectively those working knots had become purely decorative – no different from the framed ‘fancy rope work’ he produces, which also would not exist without his knowledge of working knots.
In a sense, the re-enactment of the working knowledge of those ex-sea men conceptualises it with or without our presence, and could be positioned as now purely within the creative or imaginative realm.”