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Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

When art meets sailing

by Team Malizia 27 Aug 2022 03:37 PDT
American artist Sarah Morris designed Team Malizia's new race yacht's spinnaker sail © Yann Riou

Mediated by the Hamburg art institution Deichtorhallen the German offshore sailor Boris Herrmann and his Team Malizia have collaborated with American artist Sarah Morris on an exciting project. Morris is making the spinnaker sail - a 400sqm surface - of their new race yacht, Malizia - Seaexplorer, into a work of art which will navigate the world.

The American artist is recognised for her work in painting and film. Her subjects derive from complex observation of the architecture and psychology of urban environments. Concepts of mapping and navigation are sources of ongoing fascination for Morris. Over the past 20 years the artist has developed a multitude of site-specific works and projects for many institutions.

Morris adds: "Art is a form of navigation. I love the idea of harnessing the power of the wind and colour to move Malizia - and its platform of addressing climate change - through the oceans of the world. The composition is based both upon a photograph I took of a funnel spiderweb and a map of Springpoint, one of my centres of activity."

This partnership came about through the duo having strong links to the Deichtorhallen - the famous art institution in Hamburg with a strong history of engagement in contemporary art. Morris will have her first retrospective at Deichtorhallen on April 20 - August 20, 2023. Her latest work on the Malizia - Seaexplorer engages with the topic of the climate crisis which resonated strongly with Team Malizia's agenda.

The Malizia Team is well known for engaging with the subject of climate change. The team transported Greta Thunberg to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit on their boat Malizia II.

Herrmann commented: "We had this idea to collaborate on our sailing project and one year on, it is spectacular to see Sarah's work come to life on the huge spinnaker of our boat. Sarah herself has also sailed and had a clear vision of how the sport of sailing and art can come together. The art she has created using nautical signals with a message about climate action is really inspiring and we are proud to carry this as a further message to our A Race We Must Win message around the world."

Dirk Luckow, General Director of Deichtorhallen about the sail's artistic aspects: "An extravagant play, "splendid beauty", speed, style, wit: all these attributes are reflected in the design of the Malizia sail by Sarah Morris. With its 400 sqm it is probably the largest work of art in the world ever to circumnavigate the globe under its own power, a sign that we would also like to see in relation to global climate change."

The realisation of the process took many hours including the design of the sail itself - a 400sqm North Sails white cloth spinnaker in France - and the design of the artwork which happened in New York in Morris's studio. The spinnaker was then hand painted in a Hamburg warehouse. The spinnaker is the largest of the sails carried onboard the race yacht and allows the Malizia - Seaexplorer to sail fast in light wind conditions. It is a crucial tool for the boat to gain speed.

The Malizia - Seaexplorer and the newly unveiled artwork will be sailing from France to Hamburg for the race boat's christening on 6th September at the Sandtorhafen pontoon in the Hafencity. The boat's christening will be open to the public.

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