Salute The Shipbuilders exhibition by Jean Maskell

An exhibition of abstract ceramic sculptures is on display at the Rathbone Studio to honour local shipbuilders. As the Mersey welcomed three great Cunard liners, the work of local artist Jean Maskell recalls the areas shipbuilding heritage. “Building a ship is highly skilled work. There has always been a great pride and interest in the many great ships that have been launched here. My inspiration comes from the stories I heard from shipyard workers in my own family.”

Jean Maskell was born in Birkenhead, her previous career included work in education, regeneration and communications in Liverpool. Projects include the Capital of Culture bid, Paul McCartney’s LIPA. Always writing and painting in her spare time, a course in ceramics at the Rathbone Studio in 2012 led her to realise her ambition to become an artist and writer.

Jean’s poem, The Launch, about the 1938 launch of Cunard’s Mauretania has been set to original music by musicians of ohmstudio, Pete Goss from Swindon and Robert Dubé from Montreal.

Jean said, “The Mauretania, built at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead was the largest ship ever built at an English shipyard at over 35,000 tons. Launched in 1938, thousands of local people have an association with her building or at sea.”

OHM Studio allows musicians to collaborate on original works via the internet. Musician Pete Goss said “Working in collaboration with musicians from around the world is amazing. I had given up creating music until I stumbled across ohmstudio on the web“

After collaborating on the internet Jean and Pete discovered that they both had relatives that had worked on the ship. Jean said, “In 1938 The Mauretania was at the forefront of new technology, it is amazing that nearly seventy years after her launch, the internet has brought us together to produce a piece of art in a new way.”

The poem, music and short film is part of The Salute The Shipbuilders Exhibition, open until 25th July 2015.