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And That Is Why We Go

In collaboration with Peter Lawless - Solo Non-Stop Circumnavigation

Support Peter's journey!
Make a donation via GoFundMe 

And that is why we go - Fleming Lawless scan.jpg

"And That Is Why We Go" acrylic and mixed media 

100cm x 120cm x 4cm deep edge canvas

Peter Lawless left Kilrush Marina, Co. Clare, on 21st August 2021 to sail solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world from Ireland back to Ireland via the five great capes of the Southern Ocean. An experienced yacht master, Peter is also skilled in Celestial Navigation - this means that he is using a sextant and paper charts as his primary navigation tools to plot his course on the route. 

I was inspired by this story and have been working with Peter and his team over the past months on a concept to capture Peter's amazing adventure through art. As "artist not in residence" on his journey, I will be painting in response to Peter's experiences, shared with us throughout via satellite phone and internet. On Peter's return in eight to ten months, we plan to hold an exhibition of this paintings, to allow us to reflect on and honour his achievement. 

The first piece was created before Peter's departure, and in response to the anticipation of this great adventure. In acrylic and mixed media, it reflects Peter’s journey into the unknown and the historic route and navigation methods.  It also responds to the question Peter seems to be asked in every interview - why is he going? Many have attempted to sail solo nonstop around the world. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first to do so, in 1968. For this work however I based my painting on the words of Bernard Moitessier, below.  

“A sailor's geography is not always that of the cartographer,

for whom a cape is a cape, with a latitude and longitude.

For the sailor, a great cape is both a very simple and an extremely complicated

whole of rocks, currents, breaking seas and huge waves,

fair winds and gales, joys and fears, fatigue, dreams,

painful hands, empty stomachs, wonderful moments, and suffering at times.

A great cape, for us, can't be expressed in longitude and latitude alone.

A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colours.

A soul as smooth as a child's, as hard as a criminal's.

And that is why we go.”

From 'The Long Way', by Bernard Moitessier


While Peter was making the very final preparations ahead of sailing, we decided to hold an online fundraiser and offered this painting in a draw via Peter's website. We held the draw via Facebook Live on the evening before the departure.

I'm delighted to share the names of the winners below.


First Prize:

Original Painting "And That Is Why We Go"

Acrylic and mixed media on 100cm x 120cm x 4cm deep edge canvas

Signed and dated by Peter Lawless before he sailed

Winner - 

Christian McGibney

Second and Third Prize: 

Giclée print on Hahnemühle Cotton Rag Paper 308g/m2

Paper size 38.5cm x 46cm | Image size 34.5cm x 42cm

Signed and dated by Peter Lawless before he sailed

Winners - 

Helen O'Grady

Paul Devine

Congratulations to each of you and thank you to everyone who supported the

draw to raise additional funds to support Peter's journey.

Rachel will be in touch to arrange delivery of your prizes. 

Support Peter's journey!
Make a donation via GoFundMe 

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