All the Seas

Tania Kovats (Artist)

    Research output: Other contribution


    ‘All the Seas’ was a large sculptural work arising from Kovats’s extended research into our relationship with the world’s seas and oceans.

    Beginning with a proposition to bring all the world’s seas to one place, Kovats investigated how cartographic divisions create territorial boundaries in the world’s waters, with associated nomenclature, countering the true interconnectedness of seas and oceans. The work addresses personal, poetic and geopolitical aspects of human engagement with seas.

    Kovats developed a participatory method of collaborative making through activating a global net-work of sea water collectors, they responded to her request to send water from around the world for this new collection. ‘All the Seas’ references gift culture in anthropological terms: the water was gifted to the project, and then gifted back to audience in the form of the artwork. The water, contained in glass bottles, was shelved in a unit suggestive of a library or archive of the seas, this aspect of the work was underpinned by an accompanying wall-based text, alphabetically listing the names of all the seas.

    Andre Bréton’s 1932 essay ‘Communicating Vessels’ provided a significant conceptual context for the form of this work. Breton proposed that the scientific experiment where gas passes from one glass vessel to another is akin to the dream acting as the capillary tissue through which the interior and exterior experience can pass from one container to another. Similarly, Kovats extended her exploration of contiguity, collecting and presenting waters from around the world where different seas meet or converge, in the artwork, ‘Where Seas Meet’.

    ‘All the Seas’ formed a central part of Kovats’s solo exhibition ‘Oceans’ at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset (both 2014); Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury and ‘Land Sea Air’ at New Art Gallery, Walsall (both 2016).
    Original languageEnglish
    TypeMulti Component Output
    PublisherUniversity of Dundee
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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