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Bonny Cummins’ installation - Lusitania 100 is funded by Arts Council England, found its spiritual home in St Georges Hall Heritage Centre in the commemorative year 2015. On the 7th of May 1915, Lusitania, fondly known as ‘The Greyhound’ or ‘Lusi’, was sunk on her 202nd trip whilst en-route from New York . She was sunk at the Old Head of Kinsale by a German submarine with a loss of life of 1201 crew and passengers, including three stowaways. She was a familiar sight in the Mersey and much loved Most of her crew was from Liverpool and surrounding areas. She held the Blue Riband for making record crossings between Roche’s Point Queenstown and New York, For many years from her launch in 1907. She was the fastest ship afloat, the most elegant, and the jewel in Cunard’s crown.

Lusitania at New York © Bonny Cummins Mixed media On canvas 100x120cm


Lusitania The greyhound passing Roche’s point Bonny Cummins © 100x120cm Mixed media on canvas

The Leaving of Liverpool Mixed media on canvas 120x100cm Bonny Cummins©


18 minutes Bonny Cummins © 5ftx4ft mixed media on canvas May 2015 The warmth of the Liverpudlian people combined with a passion for Lusitania, the Arts and Maritime history, made this installation vibrant and emotive for myself and the 1000+ visitors daily, including visitors from all over the world. The exhibition included Audio Visual installations – interactive funnel zoetropes, paintings, and silk works of children’s clothes with paper cut works of bonnets and waistcoats, homages to the babies and children lost on board. Mixed media works were displayed in 9 light boxes.


For all the children lost on Lusitania Bonny Cummins ŠMay 2015. Silk and paper cuts Based on the coroners records Of unidentified remains, Queenstown 1915 Included in the exhibition were rare historic images of Lusitania and a unique passenger list premiered by permission of Kevin Roach.


The enormous scale of the anchor and chain made at John Browns shipyard on the Clyde.


Translation was sought but we believe this to be written by a Lusitania steward on leave in Japan.


St Georges Hall displayed their unique collection of rare images of Lusitania as part of the exhibition, which showed the ship in construction a rare view and the beautiful interiors. The installation used six locations in St Georges Heritage Centre. Visitors to the center used the fourfunnel installation daily.

Bonny Cummins ŠFunnels and audio zoetrope installation in Heritage Centre atrium http://www.lusitania100installation.gallery/#! Soundscapes-for-paintings-and-animations/c4vu


A table zoetrope


Music by Josh Cummins (www.flyingdogwalking.com) Played on headphones, accompanied the zoetrope animations in the funnels. These dramatic soundscapes combined with the zoetrope’s brings the Lusitania to life using 1900s media of the era. The music was commissioned to accompany the paintings and animations and describes Lusitanias 101 rotary journeys. The Leaving of Liverpool, a traditional folk song Evoking the crew’s frequent journeys as they left their families again .The sound echoes in the Mersey from the depths of the ship from crew’s quarters. Roche’s Point to New York captures the mood and style popular songs of the day, which would have been sung on board and celebrates the speed of the ship as it passes Roche’s Point lighthouse. Leaving New York is a romantic waltz and describes the excitement of boarding the ship and all the romance of travel ahead. This piece accompanies the painting of Lusitania with her funnels painted black in wartime in 1915 and the painting holds the ship forever in the May mists at New York in the last golden moments. This is animated in the zoetrope. The music accompanies the painting 18 minutes and is incredibly moving with the Morse code still faintly sounding over the music as she sinks below the water.


Bonny Cummins ŠZoetrope images of Lusitania passing the 3 Graces

There were so many special moments as part of Culture Liverpool’s One Magnificent City, the arrival of the


Three Queens and Light Night, many were recorded in the comments book.


One of the galleries with sound balconies


It was a busy exhibition with many visitors in the city to see the Victoria and the three queens who made their way to the installation including relations of staff on board.


This lovely family all loves maritime history and art. They sent me their own special photos of the three Queens dancing in the Mersey to use in my future works, which they took on the day, which are very special. A sound and light installation on the bridge and tunnels commemorated all the Cunard crew from Liverpool who suffered huge loss of life when the ship was sunk.


The dramatic lighting illuminated the architecture, which evoked the lower decks and engine room of Lusitania. Visitors stopped and paid respects as they passed through to the exhibition.


The Bridge Installation Photo by David Munn


Commemoration room


The Peace Angel in Cobh Silkscreen Bonny CumminsŠ


The Bridge Installation Photo by David Munn


The Bridge Installation Photo by David Munn


The Bridge Installation Photo by David Munn


Visitors at the bridge installation to the crew

The soundscape on the bridge https://youtu.be/pf8iSdnCEAk


During Light Night the launch of OMC, about 100 little children some as young as two queued to paint stars and place 1201 Swarovski stars in the canvas sky to remember all those lost on board - 1198 passengers and crew and the three stowaways. It was an amazing event with children helping each other out. I was paint, brush and diamond assistant a joyful task working with children. Meanwhile hundreds of people passed through the exhibition as the children worked within it, and the resulting work is stunning.

The beautiful work by the children was exhibited in the exhibition in the commemoration room. These are a few of the comments in the book: “Both girls had a fab time painting and sticking on the crystals,” “Fab- 4 yr. old had fun painting a star,


Granddaughter enjoyed doing the stars on the mural,” The Astons wrote: “A brilliant mix of Media in this exhibition beautiful paintings and sound, interactive art contribution for the kids and the name list altogether making the emotions real. Wonderful Thank you “


The organisation and support from the team at St Georges hall was extraordinary, from helping me mount my exhibition speedily, to daily support in every way and thanks seems inadequate for this amazing backup, which made everything work so smoothly during the installation, thanks to them. Even the manager Alan rolled his sleeves up to lend a hand, as I was finishing mounting my works for the opening by the Mayor, with his amazing assistant Sharon helping alongside, on the most delicate of works. Sharon with her inner calm and super cool solutions for everything, stole my furry assistants heart and he found he could drop off very easily in her arms and leave it all to her, as she solved our exhibition signage.


Two last two entries in the comments book fittingly were from two Liverpool families whose grandfathers served on Lusitania, one man Lost, a fireman; one man was saved and heroically saved others. William Harkness Assistant Purser saved Barbara Anderson, a


child from the ship and continued to pull people from the sea into a lifeboat.

William Harkness with little Barbara Anderson. Colin Charles Jones Williams grandson, pointing out his grandfather’s name on the illuminated passenger list.

Colin Jones and his wife listening to the soundscape the sinking, using the zoetrope.


Fred Woods made the last entry in the comments book on behalf of his family all six grandchildren of HJ Woods, who visited the exhibition on three occasions.

Fred and Barbara Woods using the funnels audio zoetrope’s. Please see the entries in the comments book below. “31/5/15 Great day at the exhibition. My grandfather HJ Woods was one of the victims leaving my father aged 7. This exhibition has helped us reconcile with the facts and has helped visit the time and situation. Thanks Bonny.” Alan Smith Manager of St. Georges Hall wrote of the exhibition “St George’s Hall has been delighted to host the inspirational and vibrant work of the artist Bonnie Cummins and her exhibition based on the Lusitania. The emotional attachment that Bonnie has been able to provide in such a dynamic and thought provoking way in her paintings and displays of the Lusitania have found their spiritual home in the “engine room” that are the galleries of St George’s Hall. The galleries have only recently been converted to exhibition space after spending the majority of their life span of 166 years as backroom spaces and left quite neglected. Although there have been up to fifty exhibitions and displays in the new spaces Bonnie’s artwork has truly raised the bar for future exhibitions and has been able to lift the hall and its galleries into the principal city exhibition spaces they truly deserve to be!”


End of Installation as the last funnel leaves the building


To find out more about the work of Bonny Cummins: www.lusitania100installation.gallery email:- bn1bythesea@gmail.com Mob:-07496558839

Profile for Culture Liverpool

Lusitania 100 interactive  

Bonny Cummins’ exhibition and art trail in six locations at St Georges Hall, Heritage Centre, was a highly immersive multi media sensory ins...

Lusitania 100 interactive  

Bonny Cummins’ exhibition and art trail in six locations at St Georges Hall, Heritage Centre, was a highly immersive multi media sensory ins...

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