Speedwell is a large-scale site-specific installation on Plymouth’s Mount Batten Breakwater
4 September – 29 November 2020
‘Speedwell’ uses the simple language of illuminated signage to ask complex questions. By using three words ('NO', 'NEW', 'WORLDS') it asks us to think about our world, this damaged planet, and how we arrived at this pivotal moment in its history. It offers multiple readings, constantly shifting between different illuminated phrases, questioning the historic conceit that there ever was a ‘New World’ and asking us to imagine new worlds of living, caring and dying well together.
In 1620, the people on board the Mayflower went to settle in what they called the New World, which was in fact a world where indigenous people already lived. The Speedwell, a ship intended to sail alongside the Mayflower, was unable to make the journey across the Atlantic. Some of those who returned to England on board the Speedwell had to find ways to make peace with the land they sought to escape.