Trevor Woolery's Artist's Statement
Sea of Words is a short animated film exploring the development of Cardiff Docks in the 19th Century through the eyes of a local Pilot called David Morse. Pilots were captains of small sea vessels used to guide merchant ships into the docks safely. Their role was an important one as shallow water and mud flats lay on either side of a narrow cut channel into the docks.
At the height of the industrial revolution the demand for coal was overwhelming, resulting in the transformation of Cardiff from a small port into the biggest exporter of coal in the world. This brought great wealth and prosperity to Cardiff. Behind this transformation were the first, second and third Marquesses of Bute, each contributing to progress and prosperity in equal measures. However the path was not plain sailing as each development required permission and a new Act passed in Parliament for each build, enabling competitors and opposition the chance to contest the proposals.
Sea of Words begins with David Morse posing for a photograph with local Pilots who were licensed to work in the Docks. This profession was very dangerous with cutters (small sailing vessels) going out in all conditions, but the rewards were bountiful. The journey continues with Morse traveling to Parliament to give evidence in favor of the 1866 Bute Dock Bill. The storm of words symbolizes the conflicts along the many stages of development.