Coastal Symbols

Coastal Symbols

Navigate, a series by British artist Paul Thompson (b. 1977), records markers found along the UK coastline. Conveying a hidden narrative that speaks of an island identity, the structures quietly safeguard those at sea. Glimpses of red, green and yellow stand out against expansive, hazy ocean vistas, creating a sense of unlikely harmony.

Paul Thompson, Navigate #VIII, 2016.

The artist reflects on the works, which began in 2016 – when the country voted to leave the EU: “The images highlight that we are just a small island, surrounded by water. Some of the biggest changes within my lifetime were beginning politically. It made me consider the impact this would have on us as a country, and how the rest of the world would view our island. In the meantime, these very simple structures will guide our seafarers and keep them safe at sea.”

Paul Thompson, Navigate #I, 2016.

Paul Thompson: Navigate opens at Wren London on 21 March. Find out more here.

Lead image: Paul Thompson, Navigate #III, 2016.