"Atlantic Drift" by Locky Morris
Owner: Derry City Council
Location: Derry Council Civic Offices, 98 Strand Road, Derry
Title: Atlantic Drift
Artist: Locky Morris
Material: Timber Piles
Size: 10.4 metres
Funded by: Derry City Council and the National Lottery fund through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Background: The artist proposed, as part of his project, to salvage huge timber piles from the old American jetty at Lisahally along the River Foyle. With Derry’s recent developments and rapidly changing landscape, little remains of the old wooden docks and quays; rich material that maybe gave clues into history. These timber piles, now transformed into something new, still show the marks and effects of a lifetime in the river. The tidal markings could be seen as emblematic of Derry’s fascinating history as a port with it’s many waves of emigration and trade.
The structure rising to 10.4m (34 feet) weighing 34 tones and forming a kind of totem, exploiting the sheer physical power and beauty of the wood. It refers directly to processes of construction and strongly suggests skyscapers or stepping-stones.
Like modernist architects' experiments in the 1920s and 1030s with new urban forms – iconic "cathedrals" to industry whose decorated surfaces cloaked a more mechanical heart – the neat columns of Atlantic Drift belie a complex rhythm of space and form.
Artists Details: Locky Morris was born in Derry in 1960, where he continues to live and work. He studied in Belfast and Manchester. His work has been exhibited widely including Directions Out at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin 1987, the British Art Show touring Britain in 1990, New North 1990 and Strongholds 1991 both at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, Kunst Europa in Germany in 1991, the XLV Bienalle Venezia in 1992, L’Imaginaire Irelandais in Paris 1996, the Puffin Room in New York in 1998, the Ellipse Arts Centre in Washington in 2000. He has held a solo show Home Entertainment at the Orchard Gallery during 2002. Throughout his career, his engagement with Derry City and its changing character has shaped his work, often showing in community centres and the street. For a number of year in the late nineties he concentrated solely on making music with his band Rare. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including just recently Art for Architecture from the RSA.