OPEN – MAYFLOWER – Ashley Ailes – Southampton City Art Gallery

Ashley Ailes

Four Footed Pilgrims

Monochrome dry-point limited edition print

This drypoint print is an imagined scene of the Pilgrim Father’s stores under the deck of the Mayflower in 1620, at the moment when a cat has seen a rat. Both cats and black rats almost certainly journeyed on board (it is widely asserted that the Mayflower cats were the ancestors of the American shorthair cat breed), introducing these alien species to this part of the New World. The image also echoes the cat and mouse game played by the authorities with the dissenters and attempts to evoke the dark and cramped conditions on board. 

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