Michelle Ray. Three Ships. No 3 in an edition of 35.
(Tuscaloosa, AL: Michelle Ray. 2012). Sam Fleming Southern Civilization Collection.
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
Three Ships is an archive and travel shrine assembled in memory of life boats. The James Caird was one of the three lifeboats — along with the Dudley Docker and the Stancomb Wills, all three of which were named for expedition benefactors that carried Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men from the ice floes of the Antarctic to Elephant Island, after their ship, Endurance, was lost to the ice. This creation can be seen as an homage to generations of explorers who travelled the high seas without thought of the dangers that may lay in their wake.
This is an artist's book in a shadowbox format. Three shaped and printed paper panels in the bottom of a gray cloth-covered clamshell accompanied by printing on the back inside surface of the box, form a pseudo-three-dimensional scene of small boats in turbulent waters. A paper fold-out enclosure glued to the interior of the box lid contains an illustrated printed sheet.