Connected By Sea

By Liz LaManche

Called “the world’s largest tattoo”, Liz LaManche’s “Connected by Sea” is a 1,000 foot installation at HarborArts that leads visitors on a walking path down the main pier. Its 19 sequential tattoo-themed elements give homage to the places and people we have been connected to by sea during the history of this place… Expressed through tattooing, the art form which sailors used to commemorate the places they have been and the rites of passage of their lives.

“Instead of putting paint on the cement surface of the pier (which would eventually flake off and pollute the water below) I proposed to ‘tattoo’ it, by using stains to color the cement and gradually fade with the weather. The cultures we have been connected to by sea are represented by their art motifs from the period of the last 400 years, the time of our connection. Tattoo motifs from some of the peoples who lived, sailed, or landed here, ceramic and fabric motifs from the cultures who sent us wares and ideas over the sea as part of our trade history… using symbols of each culture chosen to represent identity, friendship and peace, and safe travel over water.”

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