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Unveiling of brand new sculpture that celebrates Beverley Shipyard’s history

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The team at Beverley Art Gallery have welcomed a new sculpture – ‘Vera’, by Hannah Honeywill.

The work is part of the gallery’s Contemporary Arts Uplift funding from Arts Council England.

‘Vera’ is both a celebration and a memorial to the hundreds of ships that Beverley Shipyard produced over the years. The sculpture focuses on the history of the steam trawler ‘Vera’ built there in 1907. ‘Vera’ was wrecked at Mydalssandur, South Iceland, in 1925.

The sculpture takes the shape of thousands of iron rivets hanging on fishing wire, creating a shimmering shoal of rivets to form the shape of ‘Vera’. The rivets used to make the sculpture are just like the ones used in traditional shipbuilding methods.

Hannah Honeywill is an award-winning artist, and she has exhibited widely throughout the UK and Europe. She has been the recipient of Wellcome Trust funding and has undertaken residencies at the Britten and Pears Arts, Barber Institute of Fine Art in Birmingham and the Chisenhale Studios in London. She is an elected member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

More information about Hannah can be found at www.hannahhoneywill.co.uk

Beverley Art Gallery curator Helena Cox said: “I have been delighted to work with Hannah on a project that is both innovative, inspiring and deeply rooted in the fascinating history of Beverley shipyards.

“The sculpture is located in the beautifully restored Edwardian ‘red gallery’ among the much-loved artworks from our permanent collection. Having such a striking contemporary piece in this setting creates an inspiring contrast, perhaps even helping us to see the permanent collection in a new light.

“And the Red Gallery will be open to all our visitors during our normal opening hours – there is no need to book in advance to see our permanent collections on display there, and to come and see ‘Vera’.”

Hannah Honeywill added: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to make a large scale sculpture for the Red Gallery in Beverley Art Gallery. I have learnt so much about Beverley and its prolific shipbuilding past and very much enjoyed the challenge of creating Vera as not only a memorial to the trawler herself but also for the people who made her.”

Visitors will also be to find a series of ‘Riveting Facts’ about the installation located around the gallery and the Treasure House.

Follow Beverley Art Gallery on Facebook and their new Instagram @BeverleyArtGallery, and Twitter @BevArtGallery

Beverley Art Gallery is located in the Treasure House in Champney Road. Admission is free and the opening hours are:

  • Monday, 9.30am – 4.45pm
  • Tuesday, 9.30am – 7.45pm
  • Wednesday, 9.30am – 4.45pm
  • Thursday, 9.30am – 7.45pm
  • Friday, 9.30am – 4.45pm
  • Saturday, 9am – 3.45pm

Full details can be found at https://www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk/find-a-museum/?entry=treasure_museum_gallery and a time-lapse video of the installation of ‘Vera’ can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFZ95BA8Rmk

The ‘Trawling Through Time’ project (2018-19), funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which looked at the history of the Beverley shipyard, has also been able to continue its legacy; some of the plans digitised by its volunteers were used to inform and inspire the artwork.

For those interested in learning more about the history of Beverley Shipyard, the documentary ‘Trawling Through Time: The Story Of Cook, Welton & Gemmell’ is available on the Active East Riding website at activeeastriding.co.uk/#trawling-through-time

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