Get Stranded at the Maritime Museum

Written by Jo Howe

On February 9, 2015

Flotsam Whale Jo Atherton Digswell AlumniThe saying goes that one person’s trash is another’s treasure and that is certainly the case with a new exhibition which opened on February 2 at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.

Stranded features the work of Digswell Arts alumni and trustee, Joanna Atherton, who creates colourful tapestries from fishing line, netting, rope and other unexpected items left washed up on our beaches by the great ocean currents.

Joanna says: “I don’t know whether an obsessive personality is a prerequisite of the diligent beachcomber, or if I am stirring up something much older; a primeval instinct from our hunter gatherer days.”

As well as the opportunity to view Joanna’s tapestries, visitors are invited to choose from a selection of found objects including bubble wands, fishing lures and flowers or bring along their own pieces of flotsam to add to a lobster pot art installation.

Joanna continues: “For as long as I can recall, walks on the beach would result in me proudly gathering an assortment of treasures and well-travelled trinkets. I am awestruck by the disparate collection of flotsam I find on the high water mark of British beaches and am continually fascinated by their origins – where did they come from? Who did they belong to? How long have they been at sea?”

Tehmina Goskar, Exhibitions Registrar at the Maritime Museum says: “The Maritime Museum has been wanting to highlight the serious and growing problem of marine litter in our seas for some time. Jo’s highly original and thoughtful flotsam tapestries presented us with a great opportunity to explore the detritus that washes up on our beaches in a playful and unexpected way. I hope Stranded will make our visitors think differently when they are next taking a stroll on the coast.

The Stranded exhibition opens on 2 February and runs until 5 July at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.

Details are available online on Jo’s website, or the National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s website,

Weaving unique tapestries from flotsam, curated by the waves and reinvented into new narratives –
Watch my recent Pecha Kucha talk –

You May Also Like…

Explore More

We’ve got more to read right this way.


Fellows News



Artist of the Month



Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!