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Posted On: 14 November 2013 01:52 am
Updated On: 11 January 2022 08:28 am

Noon Reports: Qatar to South Hook @Katara

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Event Details:


When: 5 Nov - 27 Nov 2013
What time: 10:00:am - 10:00:pm
Where: Katara Gallery 2 - Bldg 18

In a unique artist’s residency as part of the Qatar UK Year of Culture, British artist Ben Barbour travelled on the ‘Al Karaana’ Q-Flex LNG tanker from Ra’s Laffan, Qatar, to the South Hook terminal in Milford Haven, South Wales, documenting the twenty-day journey through drawing, writing and photography. The residency drew parallels between Qatar’s current industry of natural resources and its former pearl fishing industry, with the route of the tanker being a modern equivalent to the historic pearl trade routes that connected Qatar and the UK.

The ‘Noon Reports’ are a detailed navigational log of the ship’s journey, with entries recorded at the same time each day, midday. Information noted in the log includes the ship’s position and heading, the air and sea temperatures, the wind speed and size of the swell, the distance to go to reach the next port and the estimated time of arrival. The tradition of recording the ship’s location at midday dates back to the early days of maritime navigation, for the sun was required to be directly overhead in order to take an accurate reading from the sextant.

Throughout the voyage, drawings were produced on a daily basis to document and record life on board the tanker, an artistic equivalent of the noon reports. The drawings focused on the activities of the crew and their daily routines, and the location in which each drawing was produced was noted from the GPS on the bridge. Daily blog entries were updated onto the Qatar UK Facebook site, making the journey accessible to anyone who logged onto the site.