Dommoore 2022 bas9 symp rhys morgan rhys morgan shanty 300dpi 1631

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As seen in Rolling Stone - Rhys Morgan’s Seaweed in the Fruit Locker

MIRROR-commissioned artist Rhys Morgan’s LGBTQIA+ sea shanty choir, ‘Seaweed in the Fruit Locker’, has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine.
<p dir="ltr">Rolling Stone magazine has featured MIRROR-commissioned artist Rhys Morgan’s LGBTQIA+ sea shanty choir, ‘Seaweed in the Fruit Locker’.</p> <p dir="ltr">Featured in a spotlight on folk music in Rolling Stone titled <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">‘Less pale male and stale – how British folk is getting a remix’</a>, Plymouth-based queer interdisciplinary artist <a href="">Rhys Morgan</a>’s sea shanty choir was commissioned as part of MIRROR’s Give &amp; Takeover programme to coincide with Oliver Beer’s work for British Art Show 9 (BAS9) in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">MIRROR</a> at Arts University Plymouth at the end of 2022.<br /></p>
Dommoore 2022 bas9 symp rhys morgan rhys morgan shanty 300dpi 1631

Image by Dom Moore

<p dir="ltr">Rhys first formed the LGBTQIA+ sea shanty choir to explore collective performance in marginalised communities through the tradition of shanty singing. The choir, who are planning to perform in Tate St Ives later this year, have used their combined lived experience to rework existing shanties and inspire new ones, continuing the tradition of these folks songs being adapted time and again through generations.<br /></p>

Rhys Morgan - Seaweed in the Fruit Locker - Give & Takeover Commission

<p dir="ltr">Rhys’ work explores queerness as an operative in everyday experience and the expectations, possibilities and limitations of how this is expressed. As a queer person who grew up in a rural, coastal village, Rhys has always found shanties (which have their roots as worker songs, performed by ‘burly’ men) inaccessible yet still intriguing. Despite the countless accounts of queerness within seafaring communities, such as the same sex marriages (or matelage) which were common amongst pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries, and literary accounts (including Moby Dick, Billy Budd and Querell); the queer community has been largely ignored and hidden. This work seeks to reclaim a space for queer people within this context, through coming together with others to celebrate their identity and proudly present their own shanty songs.</p> <p dir="ltr">Last year the choir performed a set of new and updated sea shanties in venues across Plymouth, holding their first performance during the British Art Show 9 symposium, <a href="">‘Tactics for Togetherness’</a>, held at the Jill Craigie cinema. Rhys and the choir also performed their queer sea shanties at Minerva Inn, Plymouth’s oldest public house, and held a performance and Q&amp;A session at Plymouth Arts Cinema in Arts University Plymouth</p>
“Heading down to the rugged shoreline of Plymouth, Rhys Morgan is another creative pushing the boundaries to make folk more inclusive.”
Zoey Goto, Rolling Stone
<p dir="ltr">Hannah Rose, Curator at MIRROR, said at the time: “I have loved working with Rhys to support the development of this new work. Rhys has been hugely ambitious and brought an amazing group of people together to be a part of it. For MIRROR, this commission series has been super exciting, enabling us to work with artists in new ways and hopefully really supporting each of them to make an important step in their practices.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Give &amp; Takeover</a> commission series encourages artists to respond to exhibitions presented by MIRROR. Give &amp; Takeover projects can take any form, with the only restriction being that they must not disturb the exhibition they are responding to and intervening in. The series has been funded by Arts Council England with the support of National Lottery players.</p>
Dommoore 2022 bas9 symp rhys morgan rhys morgan shanty 300dpi 1633

Image by Dom Moore

<p dir="ltr">Based in Arts University Plymouth, MIRROR is dedicated to supporting the professional development of artists, with a particular focus on enriching the careers of artists based within the South West of England.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rhys Morgan’s ‘Seaweed in the Fruit Locker’ will next perform at 12pm in Dawe’s Twineworks, West Coker, Somerset, on Sunday 28 May, as part of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Od Arts Festival</a>.</p>