The participating artists in Sea Drift bring a range of practices and approaches, both traditional and contemporary to the exhibition. The common themes of journey, memorial, salvaging, remembrance and transformation are apparent among them, shaping their work and their understanding of water. Sea Drift shows a potential for artistic expression to ebb and flow, to drift between the real and symbolic.
The pull of the tides, the lure of the sea, and the mystery and power of oceans and rivers has through time manifested in a rich body of folklore, symbolism and ceremony. Water is necessary for human life, and due to this obvious importance, water has taken on considerable symbolic value in communities both religious and secular. Much of this is depicted in rites and rituals, collections, journeys and performances, which portray ideas of water beyond the literal.