Teresa Solar presents a newly commissioned outdoor installation, titled Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark) (2021). Composed of five kayaks, each sculptural piece reflects on the shape of a human bone. The sculptures are anchored on the maritime history of Liverpool, drawing parallels between bones – which allow us to move, are carriers of tissues, veins and cell communities, pathways for messages between brain and the body, shelter for our organs – and vessels, vehicles of migration, transmitters and connectors of bodies and knowledge. In contrast to the enormous ships that were, and still are, built and docked in Merseyside, Solar’s kayaks, turned into a disarticulated skeleton, set the human body at sea level and evoke the fragility of the human body over the sea. At the same time, they also celebrate our capacity for transition and transformation.
Solar was inspired by bone flutes and draws comparisons between the world’s oldest wind instrument, which helped early human communication and the forming of tighter social bonds, and movement given by the wind to boats across the ocean.