Fletcher Vaughan

Ship of Fools

This piece is a contemporary take on the Hieronymus Bosch’s medieval allegorical painting, Ship of Fools, painted in the late 15th century. The painting, dense in religious and social symbolism, depicts ignorant and foolish humans involved in frivolous and sinful pursuits, cast adrift without a captain and at the mercy of the sea.

This sculpture is a modern interpretation of the Ship of Fools allegory. Here, it takes the form of an origami boat made from a folded map of the world. At any moment, it could be swamped by a wave and sink or disintegrate. The illusion of simple paper construction represents the fragility of our planet and its inhabitants in the present day.


  • Location Headland Sculpture on the Gulf 2009, E: Scape Sculpture In the Landscape 2009, Auckland Airport The District Sculpture Garden 2013
  • Marine grade aluminium, PVC decals.
  • 2500 x 1000mm
  • SOLD $15,000 to Auckland Airport