Exhibition: 'Lord of the Sea: the life and legacy of Thomas Cochrane'
A Century apart, two radicals in their own time: revisiting Scottish seaman and founder of the Chilean Navy, Lord Thomas Cochrane and Pablo Neruda The Embassy of Chile is hosting an exhibition to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Chilean Navy.
The exhibition is comprised of paintings, objects and photographs from both Neruda and Cochrane.
The exhibition “Lord of the Sea: the life and legacy of Thomas Cochrane” brings together and celebrates two of Chile’s most significant figures, a century apart. Cochrane’s radical political values were a strong draw for a poet of equal reputation, Pablo Neruda. The exhibition, which was curated by curator and producer Christopher French, brought these two figures together to look anew at the life and legacy of Lord Thomas Cochrane through the work of Pablo Neruda. It also seeks to review the impact Cochrane has had in South America and Great Britain, and to maintain the legacy of the Cochrane family, in particular of his direct descendant, Douglas Cochrane.
In Chile, Lord Thomas Cochrane is a constant albeit subconscious presence in Chilean everyday life, through street and place names. As the founder of the Chilean Navy, he played a key role in Chile’s independence, which makes him a true hero in our country. Yet in his birthplace, Great Britain, he is widely forgotten or has been erased from public memory. In an effort to shed new light on Cochrane’s exceptional life, “Lord of the Sea…” will explore his ingenuity in naval warfare, inventiveness in engineering and his conviction in the fight against corruption and for the liberation of the oppressed. The exhibition will also explore his legacy in the UK and in South America, and what role he still plays in these divergent cultures through the work of Neruda and Cochrane’s presence in Chile today.
Pablo Neruda, the Chilean Nobel Prize winning poet, diplomat and prominent politician, wrote ‘Cochrane de Chile’ to commemorate Cochrane’s contribution to the liberation of Chile as one of eleven episodes in his 1967 work La Barcarola. Curiously, Neruda also had two portraits of him on a wall in this living room at his house in Valparaíso, where Cochrane also lived during his time in Chile. “The Lord of the Sea…” reviews some key material, photographs and manuscripts that prove
just how strong Neruda’s connection with Cochrane was. In the 200th year since Chile gained its independence and the founding of the Chilean Navy in 1818 by Lord Cochrane, this exhibition seeks to showcase the extraordinary fighter behind the fiction and beyond the scandal, and to continue Douglas Cochrane’s quest to restore his third great grandfather’s legacy and name.