Dorothy Cross

Dorothy Cross, Ghost Ship (video still), 1999 

Dorothy Cross, Ghost Ship (video still), 1999 

The work Dorothy Cross (b.1956, Cork, Ireland) made for TRACE was an extension of an existing installation, Ghost Ship, realized near Dublin in 1999. For the original work Cross painted a retired light ship with many layers of phosphorescent paint and moored it out at sea within sight of the esplanade of Dublin Bay. Every evening just before dusk the boat’s sides were flooded with strong ultraviolet light.

As the sun faded the lights were turned off. The boat remained visible as a luminous, ghostly presence between the shore and the horizon. The original purpose of the light ship as a marker of reefs and dangerous waters brings to mind the many ships that foundered in spite of every precaution. Each evening crowds of sightseers would come to the cold waterside to watch this mystery unfold and speculate about the history of the sea and of this boat in particular.

Cross braved the windswept channel in a dinghy one night to make a video of the glowing boat from the sea. A projection of this video was screened at dusk each night along the edge of the Mersey in Liverpool, where boats from Dublin used to moor. In years past these Irish boats depended on the light ship for their safe passage to England. At the Exchange Flags the artist also installed a phosphorescent model of the ship, made in preparation for the original project.

Dorothy Cross at Liverpool Biennial 1999

Ghost Ship
, 1999 
video projection 
Exhibited at Exchange Flags

Ghost Ship, 1999
model light ship
Exhibited at Exchange Flags

Supported by

The Nissan Art Project in association with the Irish museum of Modern Art, 1999