The Wine Dark Sea


‘The wine dark sea’ is a description of the Mediterranean used by Homer throughout The Odyssey , and the phrase is repeated by Derek Walcott in his epic poem Omeros set mainly in the Caribbean, and referencing characters from The Iliad. HEW-LOCKE-WINE-DARK-SEA-I The Anglo-Guyanese artist Hew Locke explores themes of race, colonialism, displacement and the creation of cultures through, what Edward Tyler Nahem describes as "a visual poem." HEW-LOCKE-WINE-DARK-SEA-Wfront Boats play an important role in Locke's visual vocabulary. According to Locke, “We’re all floating on the same ocean. As a child and young man I sailed the Atlantic. At sea, a twist of fate can send a super-yacht down - it can be an equaliser between rich and poor.” HEW-LOCKE-WINE-DARK-SEA-BB Born in Scotland, Locke grew up in Georgetown, Guyana before returning to Britain for his university education. His work has been exhibited around the globe, most recently at the Tate Britain and in Runnymede, UK as the main commission to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Hew Locke:

The Wine Dark Sea

February 24 – April 1, 2016


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  • Clare Benson on

    I’ve heard that Homer described the sea as ‘wine-dark’ because ancient Greek had no word for blue.

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