Started in 2015 and completed during the week of the ‘Brexit Flotilla’, Boat Trip takes its cue from the Hogarthian tradition of raillery (gentle satire). Based on Bosch’s ‘Ship of Fools’, ‘Boat Trip’ features a cast of familiar faces from the contemporary political scene painted in oil on a ‘grand’ scale. The narrative asks more questions than it gives answers and is poised between humour and tragedy, as a very contemporary drama unfolds.
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The ‘Ship of Fools‘ is an allegory, which originates from Book VI of Plato’s Republic and features widely in Western literature and art. The allegory depicts a pilotless vessel. It has been taken over, perhaps by force or persuasion by those who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, and seemingly ignorant of their course.
At first glance the figure steering the vessel would seem to be blinded but does the blindfold refer to Watt’s portrayal of the figure of ‘Hope’ with a single string remaining on her lyre?
“I truly believe that only I can steer the country between the Scylla and Charibdis of Corbyn and Farage and into calmer water. This can only be achieved by delivering Brexit as promised on October 31 and delivering a One Nation Tory agenda.” Boris Johnson 2019