Island Room by Amy-Scott Pillow
Friday 24th January – Wednesday 25th March 2020
God's House Tower, Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2NY
Amy Scott-Pillow’s practice is informed by her family history, which is deeply rooted in Southampton. Using imagery from local archives, online forums and her own photography, she replicates functional objects with precision.
Island Room takes its name from the ballroom onboard the S.S. Canberra, a luxury cruise liner which was part of the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. The installation includes a dance floor and a seating area, inviting the viewer to interact with the work, which also functions as an event space.
Amy’s great-grandfather, Frederick Harold-Smith had a workshop in Southampton where he practised woodwork. He was a coach-trimmer for P&O at the time when the S.S. Canberra was built and furnished, and may have worked on board the ship to upholster the chairs in the Island Room. Amy researched the ballroom, uncovering images and accounts of the glamorous furnishings and floors, and designed and built her own Island Room, re-connecting with her great-grandfather’s trade and practice in the process.
The work responds to the theme of this year’s programme, GHT: Beside the Sea, which prompts us to consider how significant changes to the shoreline have shaped our modern city. It explores the relationship between the grandiose interiors of mid-century cruise-liners, the tradesmen who built them and the passengers who enjoyed their luxurious surroundings.
The exhibition ran from 24th January 2020 to 15th March 2020 at God’s House Tower.
About the Artist
Amy is a multidisciplinary artist, often creating intimate and familiar spaces from her personal memory, family narratives and photographs, as well as archival material of the city. She has previously invited viewers to the pub, or the ballroom on the SS Canberra to explore theme of heritage, social class and the interplay between forgotten and living memory. She is exploring objects from the past and bringing them into the present, revealing concealed stories through replication and facsimile.