Torbay launches UK Mayflower 400 commemorations in Torre Abbey

Joseph Bulmer

Torre Abbey invites Torbay residents and holidaymakers to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of the Mayflower journey across the Atlantic by visiting a blockbuster travelling exhibition.

On view until August 30, the exhibition is called ‘Journey’ and revisits the fascinating voyage made by 132 people on board Mayflower in 1620.

The brainchild of UK printmaker Gay Kent from Tamar Valley Printmakers Tavistock, in collaboration with US printmaker from Plymouth Cape Cod, Leslie Kramer, a unique collaborative show has emerged.

Forty artists from both the UK and USA have joined together to form this imaginative insight into the journey experienced by the immigrants.

The story of the Mayflower encapsulates not only the suffering of pilgrims but brings to mind the struggles in today’s context, refugees.

The Printmaking exhibition ‘Journey’ presents a creative, modern and vibrant collection of etchings, aquatints, monoprints, linocuts, collographs and much more, exploring themes around the Mayflower’s journey of discovery.

Printmaking, appropriately, is also a journey with an uncertain outcome.

However experienced a printmaker’s ideas are, the outcome is also filtered by something beyond their control; the heart-stopping moment when the artist peels back the fresh print from the press to discover the new image.

This exhibition was first on show at Cape Cod Museum Easter 2020, the UK exhibition being deferred by Covid-19.

A full set of 40 images has been donated for permanent loan at the Cape Cod Museum.

Torre Abbey has also acquired a full set of 40 images on permanent loan.

Torre Abbey, which houses one of the finest collection of paintings and sculpture in the Torbay area, is grateful to all the participating artists who have each donated one image from the full edition of six prints created specifically for these transatlantic shows.

This exhibition ‘Journey’ will travel to The Theatre Royal in Plymouth, from September 9 until November 20.