The Shipping Forecast: Mark Power

May 24, 2018 - June 24, 2018 - Waterfront Gallery, University of Suffolk, Ipswich

The Shipping Forecast series of photographs are Power’s “poetic response to the esoteric language of daily maritime weather reports”.

For its specialist audience, the BBC radio Shipping Forecast, first broadcast in 1926, is vital information – information that shapes the working days and nights of those whose lives depend upon the vagaries of the weather at sea.

For the majority – the landlubbers – the Shipping Forecast is a British institution commonly heard within the safety and intimacy of the four walls of our homes. Its appeal lies within our imaginations. Where are Dogger, Viking, German Bight? How does a Northerly backing Southwesterly 5-6 feel? Good becoming Moderate?

We imagine our own scenes. We create our own imaginary and mythical map of the British Isles.

Over a period of 4 years, Mark Power made it his mission to visit every one of the 31 areas of sea covered by the Shipping Forecast, each defined by a sea area of several hundred square miles. All but 5 containing stretches of coastline. The resulting pictures are titled according to the 0600 hours Shipping Forecast from that area on the day the picture was made.

Mark Power is a member of Magnum Photos and Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton. He has had many solo exhibitions over the years and examples of his work reside in several important collections, both public and private, including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Arts Council and LA County Museum of Art.

Opening Times: Mon- Fri 8-5pm; Sat 9-4pm.

The Shipping Forecast: Mark Power

German Bight Sunday 27 August 1995 Northwesterly veering northerly, 5 to 7, decreasing 4 for a time in east. Squally showers. Good. © Mark Power/Magnum Photos

South East Iceland Wednesday 14 August 1996 Southwesterly 3 or 4, backing easterly 7, perhaps gale 8 later. Rain later. Good becoming moderate or poor. © Mark Power/Magnum Photos