Captain Nut and Sarah Cook: ‘Float My Boat’

‘Float My Boat’ is running from Saturday, August 8 to Friday, August 14

Climb the stairs of the Glorious Gallery this week and find yourself in a new, sea-faring world, with Captain Nut and Sarah Cook as your shipmates. An exhibit created from the efforts of several artists and artisans, ‘Float my Boat’ is sure to bring you an adventuring spirit and fresh perspectives. Below, I speak to Sarah and Captain Nut.

Float My Boat                                From ‘The Word Game‘. Sit yourself in the alcove and play a game that’ll reveal more about you than you expect.

What do you do/how did you meet?
Sarah: We met during Steiner school. Captain Nut went in France and I went here in South Devon. In my school in class nine you can do an exchange at another school to learn a different language, and [to Captain Nut] I think you guys can do the same thing from year nine, ten? And I went to his school for four months, and that’s how we met!

And did you guys imagine you would be doing this in the future?
Sarah: I was fifteen [laughs] – I wasn’t really thinking that much.

So why the ship theme, and the title ‘Float my Boat’?
Captain Nut: I’ve always had a fascination with boats. When I was a teenager, we had to draw a personal flag, and I thought of a boat in a circle with a world map, all within an eye. A weird little drawing like that. I’ve never been a keen sailor myself; it’s a weird relationship that I have with sailing and the sea. The title, ‘Float My Boat’, is just an expression we were laughing about.

And what first gave you the idea for this exhibit?
Sarah
: We came up with the idea when we decided to travel. It was quite sudden – it wasn’t that long ago that we decided to just go. It was three months ago.
Captain Nut: Long before we knew about this space, I was working in a workshop at the Exeter Contemporary Arts Hub, which closed down after the winter. There was a shared exhibit with all the people that were using the space. It was at that time that I made those birds on the tiles. You take a piece of wood, do a sketch on there, and then create the relief, giving it the dimension. Adam Graddon then taught me the process of making a mould from them, forming a cast. Later, Malcom Horton [who will be giving all his benefits from this exhibit to a charity rebuilding a village in Nepal following the earthquake] painted the birds.

Why did you include the birds?
Captain Nut:
 Because it’s not just my work, it’s something in-between. It’s something we’ve done together. You’ve got work from different people here. It’s about co-operation. For example, for the T-shirt design, we worked on them with Pier Pezzimenti. The picture of the tree is by Pier too.

The moon sculpture in the middle of the room – what’s its significance? 
Captain Nut: The idea of the boat came with the title, and I met Patrick Way a long time before and I knew he was working on a moon – and then I thought, if this is the boat, then we need a map for the captain to find the right journey. The moon felt like the perfect aim.

And where did the inspiration for the quote come from, ‘What if someone was to change the world’?
Captain Nut: People will see it and understand it differently, but we were trying to push ourselves to our own limits, and that text came from that process. I did it over and over to try to fit it into that black square. It’s not easy to find something to write with when it’s on black! So that was that’s why I made a few, to make something that satisfying filled the space. I used it before the exhibition on a much smaller square, and printed them on leaflets when I was trying to get financial support for one of the pieces. I didn’t get any, but that’s pretty good because I can now say I’ve financed all my work myself!

And what do you guys hope to achieve through this exhibit?
Sarah: I don’t think there’s anything to achieve through it, apart from getting things out there.
Captain Nut:  It’s the start of the story, really. It’s the start of a larger journey.

And what’s next for you guys?
Sarah: Well, we’re going off travelling – that will bring other things.

And what life advice do you have for all who see your exhibit?
Captain Nut: 
I would go for what I titled the T-shirt design: ‘Be the target of your own ideal’.

As they have said, this is just the start of the journey for these two adventurers. Keep up with their story here.

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