Sea of Stories

Sea of Stories is a ceramic mural at Pembroke Dock Ferry Terminal created by Pembrokeshire artist Robert Jakes. It maps the Irish Sea between Wales and Ireland, telling the hidden histories of this space and the coastlines that it connects. Wildlife, wrecks and transatlantic cables all lie below the surface of the water, along with myths and memories.

Combining words and striking images, Jakes captures the richness of life on and beneath the waves through time, from Viking treasure to wartime history, with ecological insights and even a contemporary postcard by a local resident.

The work was commissioned by the project Ports, Past and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme. This project focuses on the history and heritage of port towns around the Irish Sea, and aims to bring these towns together through their shared port heritage. It is jointly run by University College Cork and Wexford County Council
in Ireland, and the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD) and Aberystwyth University in Wales.

 

Each tile in the mural is the starting point for a bigger history or story around Pembroke Dock and the sea beyond. In 2006–7 Jakes worked as an artist on the creation of plaques for the Pembroke Dock Town Trail. The Ports, Past and Present project is also developing a new version of this trail as an app, augmenting the booklet with archive photography and additional information. Many of the stories featured in the mural have been provided by the community, and Ports, Past and Present is keen to hear more from local residents.

If you have a piece of history you would like to share, you can email the team directly on ports@ucc.ie, and learn more about its work on https://portspastpresent.eu/.

Project leader at UWTSD Professor Mary-Ann Constantine said: ‘Rob’s work is beautiful: as with the old maps and sea charts which inspired him, you can spend ages getting lost in its stories. We hope this mural will start all kinds of journeys of curiosity for passengers and community members who come to see it.

Sea of Stories can be seen in the café area in the ferry terminal at Pembroke Dock, which is publicly accessible around the times of the ferry arrival and departure.


Robert Jakes is based in South Pembrokeshire. He make large-scale carvings in oak, illuminated procession sculptures, entrance archways, sculptural seating, benches and storytelling seats and works on a variety of other projects.
He says: “I make pieces in response to specific locations and communities, schools and forests in the UK and abroad.”
You can see examples of his work at http://www.robertjakes.co.uk/
Contact: 01646 661485
Email: info@robertjakes.co.uk

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty knows that she will always be an incomer, but this is to be her sixth summers. The wet and grey days of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire, but she is always grateful for the golden light of spring and summer. Her love of the sea sustains her even through the darkest of days and she can often be found at high tide bobbing about in Fishguard harbour at high tide, often with seals in attendance. When not freezing in water she is usually at her computer. She says" Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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