waves of the same sea ...


site specific performance
photographs / two-channel video
handmade semaphore flags
2020

watch clip



How do we communicate in a time of social distancing? How do we stay connected when we are so far away? Can I hear you calling me? How far away can our signals be seen?

Through a series of staged performances with her nine-year-old son, artist Tara Ernst communicates messages of loss and longing, connection and belonging in an attempt to traverse the distances created by the Covid-19 global quarantine.

Through the use of traditional semaphore flags, used in long distance and nautical signaling, waves of the same sea... draws on the rich nautical history of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where Ernst calls home.

Waves of the same sea... draws its’ title and inspiration from the poetry of the Ancient Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, whose poem was intentionally attached to shipping containers of medical supplies sent to Italy by the Chinese in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic catastrophe. (source)

Here a simple but poignant message is conveyed, reminding us that despite the distances between us and our cultural differences, that we are all “waves of the same sea”. That perhaps through our collective quarantine, we can find deeper meaning in our lives and focus on things that hold us together.

We are waves of the same sea
Flowers of the same garden
Leaves of the same tree
                               - Seneca



This project is supported by The STEPS Initiative as part of their Insiders Artist Project. #stepsINsiders
The STEPS Initiative

tara ernst © 2012 - 2020