Ghost by Adam Chodzko

Ghost (2010) is a kayak; a sculpture as vessel, coffin, bed, costume and camera rig. It is designed to ferry people to the island of the dead. To initiate this process the first destination was Deadman’s Island, a small island off Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey. Deadman’s Island was used as a burial site for bodies of people who had died on the prison hulks moored in the Swale in the 18th and 19th Century. Ghost is a vessel for visiting the dead.

Ghost is designed by Chodzko to have a rower in the back, and a member of public in the front. The passenger lies down low and flat, like a body in a coffin. A dome in the deck of the kayak also separates them physically and visually from the paddler at the back. On the deck is a mount for a camera which records the journey of the kayak from across its bows. Therefore Ghost generates a record of its own journeys and this footage is archived as each passenger makes their own unique trip. Whether the islands of the dead are actual or metaphorical will alter according to circumstance. The marks it accumulates from this usage act as a further record of its activity. It was made using a variety of woods Alaskan yellow cedar, western red cedar, Fijian mahogany, oak, ash, olive and walnut.

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