Iconic seascapes by Turner, Van Gogh and Monet recast to depict a zero-carbon shipping industry
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Published: 20 December 2020
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Viral Instagram artist Reuben Dangoor has partnered with Lloyd’s Register to reimagine famed oil paintings of the 17th and 18th century.
The goal is to showcase the shipping industry’s transition towards a zero-carbon future.
The six-piece collection sees works of old masters, including the likes of JMW Turner, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, modified to depict carbon-neutral vessels, emerging infrastructure, maritime technologies and futuristic concept ships that would address shipping decarbonisation challenges.
Through the art, Lloyd’s Register aims to shine a light on the need for ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions – along with the supporting infrastructure – to be on the high seas by 2030.
Emissions from shipping
Shipping transports 90% of all global trade and is critical to the world’s supply chain, but it contributes approximately 2.9% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The industry is expected to halve its emissions from 2008 levels by the year 2050.
With shipping the lifeblood of the global economy, and shown to be especially critical during the Covid pandemic, sector emissions are a pressing climate change concern for everyone.
According to the European Commission, popular vessels such as passenger and cargo ships contribute around 900 million tonnes of CO2 annually via their regular crossings of the world’s oceans.
Art as social commentary
Dangoor’s work is heavily inspired by current affairs, providing visual commentary on social and political injustices.
Each of his digitally created pieces will be showcased as part of a 360-degree virtual gallery tour, hosted at listed venue Carlton House Terrace and available for public view on the Lloyd’s Register website.
‘The Future Seascapes Collection has been an incredibly cool project for me to work on. I loved Lloyd’s Register’s concept of reimagining seascapes of old to depict a future that is both greener and cleaner – and doing so via a digital, technologically advanced medium aligns with the ambitions for the shipping industry to reach their climate ambitions by 2030. All of us need to play our part in tackling the climate crisis, so it’s great to see Lloyd’s Register leading the charge and setting an example to the wider maritime industry.’
The exhibition marks the launch of Lloyd’s Register Group and Foundation’s Maritime Decarbonisation Hub -–a joint initiative that brings together thought leaders from across the globe to swap skills, knowledge and capabilities to make the necessary advancements to design, develop and commercialise the future technologies needed for a zero-emission maritime industry of the future.
‘Throughout our 260-year history, Lloyd’s Register has helped the industry to transition from sail to coal to oil, and we now look forward to supporting the industry with this fourth propulsion revolution to zero carbon.
‘The Future Seascapes exhibition is a showcase of how the Maritime Decarbonisation Hub can help drive the shipping industry towards its ambition by 2050. The paintings take vessels of centuries past, replacing them with the carbon-neutral ships of the future, illustrating the accelerated advancements in technology that we believe the Hub can facilitate through collaboration and expertise.’
Lloyd’s Register’s Marine and Offshore director
The first piece reimagined by Dangoor is JMW Turner’s Fighting Temeraire (1838). One of the Romantic painter’s most celebrated works, the original famously depicts the last voyage of the iconic warship HMS Temeraire, being towed down the Thames by a steam-propelled tug to be scrapped.
This sentiment of step changes in shipping propulsion is replicated in the reworked masterpiece with a futuristic twist, as the decaying HMS Temeraire is replaced with a carbon-emitting tanker of today, towed by a hybrid tug.
The piece highlights Lloyd’s Register’s intention to help transform global fleets, forging towards safe, sustainable seas via technological advancements.
Other artworks in the ‘Future Seascapes’ exhibition include:
Claude Monet’s Ships on the Seine at Rouen (1873)
Monet’s beautiful river scene, featuring past passenger and cargo ships, now features a concept zero-carbon hydrofoil ship. The aim of the illustrative design is to reduce the drag of vessels, improving fuel efficiency on the seas of tomorrow.
Thomas Whitcombe’s A Trinity House Yacht and a Revenue Cutter Off Ramsgate (1810)
Here, concept designs have been worked into Dangoor’s remastered iteration of the original. Cutters have been replaced with a striking sail-assisted cargo ship shown battling against Whitcombe’s turbulent waves on a dramatic pink skyline.
Tingqua’s View of Hong Kong (1845-1855)
This scene highlighting the significance of the world trade in China has been transported to 2030 via zero-carbon bulk carriers and container ships powered by fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen.
Edward Seago’s Harbour Scene (1910-1974)
Continuing to look to Hong Kong, here Dangoor has replaced a local junk-rigged sailing boat with an impressive solar panelled cargo ship. The use of solar panels alongside other renewable energy sources provides an impressive solution to achieve a more sustainable world.
Vincent Van Gogh’s The Sea at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (1888)
Featuring fishing boats powered by sail and oar, which already operate in a low-carbon fashion, Dangoor has embraced renewable energy sources further by incorporating an offshore wind farm – an emerging infrastructure and a pivotal part of the seascapes of a more sustainable future.