News article created on 21 July 2017

Sabrina 5 The Art of a Steel Boat - photographs give unique perspective on historic barge

A new exhibition by Bristol-based photographer Barbara Evripidou opens at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester (24 July to 20 August). Barbara turns engineering into art through her stunning images of an historic barge during a major refurbishment by us.

Sabrina 5 exhibition

The barge, Sabrina 5, was built in 1944 as part of the Ministry of War’s fleet. After a long career carrying cargo around the local waterways the 90ft long vessel came into the museum collection in 1988. Earlier this year Barbara was invited to photograph Sabrina 5’s transformation into an education and visitor centre.

Barbara’s black and white images of the stripped-back barge - with outer layers removed to reveal the structure - show the engineering behind the panels, and tell the story of her construction. Now Sabrina 5 has been rebuilt these elements are once again hidden, making Barbara’s photographs a unique record of a moment in time in the life of the barge.

And, fittingly, their exhibition is the first to be hosted on Sabrina 5.

Barbara explains: "I’ve never worked on a project like this before. This was a great opportunity to freeze time in Sabrina’s transformation. There is amazing beauty in the engineering details – from the smallest screws to Sabrina’s massive ‘rib cage’.

"It was a privilege to be allowed to get under the skin of an historic vessel and record a perspective not many people have seen, or will see again."

Steve Bagley from the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester adds: "Sabrina 5 is one of the largest boats in our collection. From this summer she is embarking on a new life as an education and visitor centre. Sabrina 5 will also be an exhibition space and so it’s appropriate that the first exhibition should be about herself. We’re delighted with Barbara’s images and hope that visitors will also enjoy seeing a different side to Sabrina 5."

The museum is open between 10am and 5pm.

Adult - £8.50, child - £5.00, 5s and under – Free, concessions (60+ and students) - £7.50 (all tickets include 12 months unlimited entry),

Annual passes, family tickets and concessions also available