A new art exhibition exploring Grimsby’s relationship with Iceland through ‘conflict, co-operation and fish and chips’ has opened at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre.

The ‘Friends, Foes and Good Companions’ exhibition, by award-winning artist Olivier Kugler and writer Andrew Humphreys, explores the Cod Wars through the recollections of those who lived through the time, and its impact on the industry, both past and present.

The Friends, Foes and Good Companions exhibition features some 30 artworks – including this one depicting ex-trawlerman Cyril ‘Squirrel’ Cole. (Photo: Ellie Coulson)

The exhibition, an Imperial War Museum 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commission, in partnership with Our Big Picture, with additional support by Arts Council England, captures the ‘voices and experiences of those connected with the fishing industry’, including fishermen, fish processors, fishmongers and fish and chip shop owners, Icelandic crew, lumpers, fishing company representatives, diplomats and politicians.

The largely interview-based work, which comprises some 30 pieces, is presented in the form of drawings with accompanying text. Selected pieces will also be displayed around Grimsby as part of an art trail, which can be followed with the use of a specially created map accessed via a QR code.

Paula Denton, CEO of Big Picture, said: “Through this project we have made new friends from the wider fishing community and have enabled unheard voices of our industrial heritage to be heard. Together we have reflected on conflict and the tremendous comradery between Grimsby and Iceland, and how today this is still built on a deep-rooted respect.

“This project feels like we have only just scratched the surface, and the start of an incredible journey of connection and understanding”

The exhibition runs until 20 August.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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