Preview: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Ship, God’s House Tower

Preview: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Ship, God’s House Tower

Southampton arts and heritage venue God’s House Tower (GHT) will launch a unique new exhibition in March from award-winning composer and sound artist, Emily Peasgood, featuring music created especially for the show.

When I Grow up I Want to Be a Ship is a new, site-specific exhibition which explores and celebrates Southampton’s complex and enduring relationship with the sea through an audio installation and folk song, written from the perspective of a young boy witnessing the construction of Southampton’s docks from God’s House Tower.

An event to celebrate the launch of the exhibition will be held at GHT on the evening of Friday 11th March, featuring live performances from local musicians who will be interpreting Emily’s song in their own unique ways, across a range of musical genres.

Spanning a period of more than 400 years, the song’s lyrical content explores the city’s ever-changing coastline from the 1600s to the present day and into the future. Informed and inspired by research into local histories and fascinating stories provided by local people, the song and exhibition offers visitors to GHT the chance to immerse themselves in the story of the Solent as they move through the historic building.

 This unique audio installation is anchored in Southampton but highlights a wider, more universal predicament – humankind’s unending drive to conquer the sea. Historically we have tried to push it away in the name of progress and industrialisation. Across the centuries, as the docks were developed in the 1830s and again in the 1920s, the land has gradually encroached upon the sea. However, climate change maps forecast that by 2050 not only will the docks be submerged underwater again, but so will God’s House Tower.

 Emily Peasgood is an Ivor Composer’s Award winning composer, sound artist and visual artist. She creates research-led and site-specific interactive artworks for galleries and outdoor public spaces, ranging from large-scale community events to intimate sound installations. Her work aims to transform how we perceive our environment by creating invitations to connect with people and places that are forgotten, overlooked, or surrounded by histories that can be remembered and celebrated through sound and music. Emily is best known for her work in outdoor public locations with specific communities of people, often utilising innovative technology and design to serve her concept and enhance visitor interaction.

 Emily said: “I like to connect people with places and histories that might be forgotten, and can be celebrated through sound. As part of that I often invite members of the local community to contribute to the work.

“Bringing this new installation to God’s House Tower has been a fascinating experience, and I’ve been fortunate that local people have come forward and shared some eye-opening tales which have helped to inform the piece, which will explore the relationship between this incredible, historic building and Southampton’s changing coastline.”

 When I Grow up I Want to Be a Ship launches at GHT from Friday 11th March and is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Sunday 8th May.

God’s House Tower is open Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm. More details on the venue and it’s location can be found here

The exhibition launch event will take place on Friday 11th March from 6pm onwards. Tickets are free and can be booked here


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