Past exhibition: Chris Dobrowolski

Transit Transition by Chris Dobrowolski: Our final shipping container exhibition at Contains Art

Chris was selected for his makeshift aesthetic and celebration of modest materials—this exhibition would be the final container exhibition before we prepared for our new development—it was essential to our brief that the artist should honour the nature of the gallery, its fabrication and its future transformation.

The artist directly addressed  this time of metamorphosis for the shipping container art gallery.

“I’m emphasising what a shipping container is—a space that’s very purpose is to be in constant transition. Essentially it’s an art exhibition about shipping containers in a shipping container.”

Chris took what was a simple starting point and through a series of mechanical, playful, even absurd works, which often repurposed household objects, explored the unexpected, makeshift and haphazard nature of transition over time. In this, his work also looked to the future of the shipping containers at the East Quay, where the gallery container has been repurposed.

“The primary use of a shipping container is to move manufactured goods from where the work force is cheap to where people have money. Taken out of this cycle of exploitation the Watchet container is also taking its own course, subverting this box of exploitation into a space that nurtures the community.”

Chris was also influenced by Watchet’s connection to Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, which was referenced frequently in the exhibition—used to draw out a sense of the romantic seafaring tradition and contrast it with our more banal contemporary world of global consumer capitalism. “An image I found on the internet that has haunted me is that of a shipping container accidentally lost overboard. Like the wandering albatross it appears to be destined to drift forever.”


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