‘What Has To Be Done’ – Exhibition, Beijing

The exhibition is the result of four voyages, 2013/2014/2015 and 2016 by groups of artists from China and the UK on the traditional sailing ship Lady of Avenel, around the Western Isles of Scotland. This specific maritime context and the important legacy and vision of two key figures, the German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) and the visionary radical Scottish curator, artist and cultural producer Richard Demarco (b 1930), provided the motivation and inspiration for this project.


Central to the philosophy of ‘What Has To Be Done’ was to create an intensive and immersive experience of being on board a ship. The voyages always provided a challenge to the participants many of whom had never been to sea, or indeed had never travelled to this magical and historically rich part of the world. The participants witnessed nature close up and in particular the power of the sea and our fragile but critical relationship with it.