Castaways

In June 2007 I was in Manchester for the Royal Anthropological Institute conference “Beyond Text.” One of the collateral events, at the Whitworth Art Gallery, was an exhibition by artist Virginia Ryan, with the collaboration of Steven Feld who provided an audio installation and a video screening. The sculptural paintings are made out of found objects from the beach of Anomabo, in Ghana, and point to gold, slavery, the Atlantic ocean, displacement and longing. It was a remarkable instance of exhibition that adapts very well to the space it is set up in, with the complicity of the wave-shaped ceiling and Feld’s shoreline soundscape.