A striking exhibition by Biljana Lipic at Newlyn Gallery captures the hard life of fishermen on the southwest coast through a series of photographic studies of their hands.
Working as a fisherman is the most dangerous job in peacetime. But on top of the perils of being at sea are the day-to-day hardships: hauling nets, dragging wet ropes and lugging crates of fish. The act of getting fish to market is back-breaking work done by Britain’s fleet of cracked-hand, chapped-lipped fishermen.
It’s these daily hardships that photographic artist Biljana Lipic showcases in “Fishermen’s Hands”, her upcoming exhibition at Newlyn Gallery. During her residency, Biljana observed the fishermen on the southwest coast and took studies of their hands as a way of chronicling what commercial fishing entails in the 21st century.
“Lots of fishermen have bits of their fingers missing – it’s part of the danger of the job,” explains Biljana. Indeed, over the past 10 years, 529 British fishermen have suffered serious injury, in addition to the 94 who have lost their lives at sea.
“I’m interested in the stories that the hands tell by themselves,” says Biljana. “It’s not just about looking at them as part of the body, but also something that’s integral for the job. Something that these men depend on for survival.”
Fishermen’s Hands, 10-21 February
Newlyn Art Gallery, Princes Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 2N
For more information, visit: newlynartgallery.co.uk
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