A SOUND installation By Sound Near Seawall by Turner Prize-winning artist, Susan Philipsz, will sound out from Whitehaven Harbour. 

This will begin on Friday, May 24, and will continue to be heard on the hour from 10am until 5pm every day.

The artwork is a two-channel sound installation and was created by recording the sound of two conch shells from the Caribbean.

The history of Whitehaven Harbour is linked with the history of enslavement; from the tobacco fields in Virginia to rum and sugar from the Caribbean.

The artwork acknowledges this difficult relationship with enslaved people. It also reflects the area’s rich history of shipbuilding.

They are played from two horn speakers installed on the North and West lighthouses.

Darren Crossley, Cumberland Council’s director of place sustainable growth and transport, said: “The coastal programme aims to strengthen the coastal destination offer for both residents and visitors and increase sustainable employment opportunities by shining the spotlight on Cumbria’s largely undiscovered stretch of coastline.

“We are grateful for the kind permission of the Harbour Commissioners to site this work at Whitehaven Harbour.”

By Sound Near Seawall is the second of a series of artworks to be revealed to offer additional points of interest along the Cumbrian Coast.

They are part of Cumberland Council’s coastal programme funded by the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and Sellafield Ltd’s Six Social Impact Multiplied programme.

The council is working with other partners and will be revealing further commissioned artworks at various coastal locations during 2024.

In addition to the Susan Philipsz sound installation, Cumberland Council has supported Lake District National Park Authority with the development of the Eskdale Trail, featuring local artist Chris Brammell and last month saw the installation of Ryan Gander’s Chronos Kairos 23:59 at Seascale.

Speaking about the artwork, Susan Philipsz said: “The North and West lighthouses on Whitehaven harbour are incredible landmarks and I immediately thought I would like to connect them through sound.”

The installation of this artwork was funded by UK Government and Sellafield Ltd.