The Wine Dark Sea

This is part of our special feature, Networks of Solidarity During Crises.

“The Wine Dark Sea” is a description of the Mediterranean used by Homer throughout The Odyssey, and the phrase is repeated by Derek Walcott in his epic poem Omeros, set mainly in the Caribbean and referencing characters from The Iliad. This visual poem incorporates customised models of contemporary and historically resonant vessels—clippers and cargo ships, battleships and lifeboats—filled with hope, potential prosperity, and gratification, as well as despair, anguish, and suffering. A ship is a symbolic object; vessel of the soul, means of escape, both safety and danger. No crew are visible—the boats themselves stand for crew and passengers.

“The Wine Dark Sea” is a selection of up to thirty-four boats, either hanging or on strands, ranging from 23 to 183 cms in length.


Photo courtesy Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York, 2016









Hew Locke was born in Edinburgh, UK, in 1959; lived from 1966 to 1980 in Georgetown, Guyana; and is currently based in London.  He obtained a B.A. Fine Art in Falmouth (1988) and an M.A. Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London (1994). In 2000 he won both a Paul Hamlyn Award and an East International Award. His work is represented in many collections including those of the The Government Art Collection, The Pérez Art Museum Miami, The Tate Gallery, The Arts Council of England, The National Trust, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, 21c, The New Art Gallery Walsall, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The British Museum and The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.


These images are Courtesy of Hew Locke and P·P·O·W, New York
Published on October 13, 2020.


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