National Maritime Museum Cornwall has announced the appointment of its very first Artist in Residence.

Rob Johnsey, a sculptor, boatbuilder and long-time volunteer at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, and has been engaged to produce new work for an exhibition opening in March 2016. Rob graduated from Falmouth University in 2013 with a degree in Fine Art and was shortlisted for the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize in 2010.

The new exhibition entitled Skeleton: New Sculpture from Old Boats will draw its inspiration from the Maritime Museum’s collections and explore the relationship between boats and forms which are found in the natural world.

Rob has previously produced one-off pieces for the British Museum and National Maritime Museum Cornwall and most recently created a sculpture to mark the entrance to the newly opened Viking Voyagers exhibition. The artwork was inspired by traditional figureheads found on Viking longships and depicts a fearsome dragon.

Rob says: “Creating these new works inspired by the museum’s boat collection is incredibly exciting. Natural forms are reflected throughout a boat’s construction, such as the steamed oak ribs of a small boat and the ribcage of a whale and it is these connections that I hope to explore.”

Maritime Museum Director Richard Doughty says: “We are thrilled to have such a talent as Rob Johnsey bringing new art to the Maritime Museum. It is all the more special because he will be creating a show which is inspired by the National Small Boat Collection and the other forms and shapes he finds in the Museum. To have our collection find new expressions in beautiful sculpture is an exciting opportunity, both for us and our visitors.”

The exhibition entitled Skeleton: New Sculpture from Old Boats opens in March 2016 and you can follow Rob’s progress at