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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Republic of Atlantis: New Visions of the Sea 2

Brennan, Tim (2002) The Republic of Atlantis: New Visions of the Sea 2. [Artefact]

Item Type: Artefact


Tim Brennan was the Museum's artist-in-residence between May and October 2002. His artwork 'The Republic of Atlantis' is influenced by the writings of the philosopher Plato, who in the 4th century BC described the lost city of Atlantis as a harmonious and peaceful society.

For this work, visitors to the Queen's House were invited to write a description of their 'perfect world'. They did this by writing a special message, tying it with a ribbon, and putting it in one of several thousand bottles placed on tables in one of the Queen's House parlours. In return for their help visitors received a special certificate of citizenship to the fictional Republic of Atlantis. The messages and bottles created an interactive artwork which grew over time.

The public's response was overwhelming: nearly 3000 messages were written. Eighty per cent of these called for a world without hunger, crime, war, racism and disease, and where love, peace and harmony have the upper hand.

Each month the artist also selected an artefact from the Museum's collections for exhibition in the space. Doing this helped Tim Brennan develop the themes of the artwork. For the final month of his residency he has transformed the messages into a wreath, to be displayed alongside a painting from the Museum's collection: 'Nazi Wreath in the North Sea in Memory of the Battle of Jutland', by Claus Bergen.

The combination of these two objects was devised as a reflection on recent world events, generated in the tensions between 'terror' and 'justice', 'civilization' and 'barbarism' and 'freedom' and 'free-market'.

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More Information

Additional Information: Location: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, LondonGreenwich, London
Depositing User: Rachel Webb


Item ID: 491
Official URL:

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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 10:48
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2014 14:23


Author: Tim Brennan

University Divisions

Institute of Arts and Creative Industries > Art and Design Workstream

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