Our Sculptors

Maya Ramsay MRSS

I work with historically and politically important sites, usually those that are due to be demolished- capturing visual histories that would otherwise be lost.
Contact email
Mixed media
COUNTLESS (2016-17) is an Arts Council funded project which involved making 30 rubbings from the graves of migrants who lost their lives at sea whilst trying to reach Europe. It was 30 years since the first recorded migrant shipwreck in Europe. The rubbings were exhibited in a solo show at Aspex, Portsmouth from April - June 2017.
Alongside the nameless grave rubbings I made grapite rubbings of the names painted on the sides of migrants' boats. Migrants' boats are usually marked with the name of the boat owner or religious phrases such as 'In God We Trust'.
The COUNTLESS project also includes found objects and photographic and film footage from the cemeteries and boats.
I recently published an article on the subject of art & migrant deaths at sea - Reframing the debate: The art of Lampedusa for 'Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture' (2016).

For the past seven years I have been working on an ongoing project entitled 'WALL TALK' which involves lifting surfaces from sites that have a historical relationship to armed conflict. These works reference the idea of walls as witnesses to atrocities. The project was shortlisted for the international Artraker Award for Art and Conflict. (http://www.artraker.org/maya-ramsay/4586009484)

Other recent projects include 'STATION X' in which I lifted surfaces from the walls of the derelict buildings where the Code-breakers worked during World War 11 at Bletchley Park. These buildings had lain derelict for decades awaiting renovation and were hugely evocative of internationally important histories. The works include surfaces from one of the buildings where the walls were covered in a myriad of cobwebs that had become carbonised during a fire. Works from the project are currently on display at Bletchley Park Museum. (http://www.mayaramsay.co.uk/bletchleyparkproject.php)

The 'WALL OF SOUND' project involved making wall rubbings of the woodchip wallpaper in Jimi Hendrix’s London home- which, as if by magic, came out looking like music notation.
Hendrix’s home is next-door to where the composer Handel lived 200 years earlier and it is said that Hendrix saw visions of Handel in the walls of his flat. The wallpaper scores are composed of abstract marks created by graphite rubbings of the woodchip wallpaper on to blank manuscript paper. Their similarity to music notation allows the viewer to imagine the sound that Hendrix’s walls might make. The five sections are akin to a suite of music and were performed as part of the London Jazz festival in Handel’s rehearsal room. (http://www.mayaramsay.co.uk/work.php?s=wall-of-sound)
WALL OF SOUND was also performed as part of the London Jazz Festival at the Southbank Centre and at the opening of Hendrix House in 2016. An album of compositions based on Wall Of Sound by leading jazz musicians is currently underway, which includes this track being performed in Jimi Hendrix's bedroom: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTCk-ZcdMGY).