Children of Ancasta by Moylin Chong
Island Room by Amy Scott Pillow

Island Room and Children of Ancasta

Moylin Chong
Children of Ancasta
24th January 2020 – 15th March 2020

Moylin Chong is inspired by marionettes, myths and folklore. The uncanny characters in her work communicate stories and fables that are often unknown or overlooked.

Children of Ancasta includes a number of figurative sculptures and a collection of animated drawings informed by local folklore and oral histories. Moylin’s research for this project led to a particular interest in local deities and guardians that protect Southampton’s coastline. The exhibition’s namesake, Ancasta, is a lesser known goddess who was worshipped by the Romans. An inscription about her was found in Bitterne, connecting her to the River Itchen and the shores of Southampton. Today this inscription can be seen at the SeaCity Museum.

Moylin’s sculptures are exhibited throughout God’s House Tower, leading the viewer to discover new parts of the building in the quest to find each figure. They are made using found objects and materials collected from the waterfront.

The work responds to the theme of this year’s programme, GHT: Beside the Sea, which prompts us to consider how significant changes to the shoreline have shaped our modern city. By revisiting and reimagining the characters in Southampton’s forgotten folklore, Moylin invites us to reconnect with the coast and our cultural heritage.

Amy Scott-Pillow
Island Room
24th January 2020 – 15th March 2020

Amy Scott-Pillow’s practice is informed by her family history, which is deeply rooted in Southampton. Using imagery from local archives, online forums and her own photography, she replicates functional objects with precision.

Island Room takes its name from the ballroom onboard the S.S. Canberra, a luxury cruise liner which was part of the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. The installation includes a dance floor and a seating area, inviting the viewer to interact with the work, which also functions as an event space.

Amy’s great-grandfather, Frederick Harold-Smith had a workshop in Southampton where he practised woodwork. He was a coach-trimmer for P&O at the time when the S.S. Canberra was built and furnished, and may have worked on board the ship to upholster the chairs in the Island Room. Amy researched the ballroom, uncovering images and accounts of the glamorous furnishings and floors, and designed and built her own Island Room, re-connecting with her great-grandfather’s trade and practice in the process.

The work responds to the theme of this year’s programme, GHT: Beside the Sea, which prompts us to consider how significant changes to the shoreline have shaped our modern city. It explores the relationship between the grandiose interiors of mid-century cruise-liners, the tradesmen who built them and the passengers who enjoyed their luxurious surroundings.