New Show ‘Figureheads’ by Eleanor Carlingford.


We’re delighted to launch Eleanor Carlingford’s new show in the gallery this June. Set within the main gallery, ‘Figureheads’ is an exploration into the past, uncovering the curious stories carved into wooden figures that decorated the bows of wooden ships and sailing vessels. In her usual enigmatic style, Eleanor not only injects colour and life back into the figures, she pulls us out into our very own journey of discovery, across uncharted and challenging horizons with playful and suggestive titles; Come What May, Glossed Over, Head On, Seeing It Through. 

It began as a simple quest – to locate a figurehead from a vessel called Gold Seeker, that had belonged to Captain William James Caron, a schooner captain from the early 1900s who had taught Eleanor’s father to sail. Following a hunch, she tracked the figurehead to the Maritime Museum on the Isle of Man. Making this connection ignited a desire in Eleanor to find more.

New Show 'Figureheads' by Eleanor Carlingford.
Gold Seeker Figurehead

“Figureheads embodied the spirit of the vessel and the crew invariably felt an aura of protection from this, and an element of safeguarding in harsh seas, and on the homeward voyage. Often the figurehead was carved by the loving hands of the crew themselves, these carvings holding great significance to the men whose covetous protection over them could be fierce. They would not let the figurehead founder”.

The show opens with a special preview on Thursday 6th June from 6-8pm. Eleanor will be in attendance and will be delighted to meet and talk about her work. 

Find all works online now.