Audrey Wells' Virtual Nau
A Project by Audrey Wells
It is impossible to imagine, let alone describe, such a thing as a 40 m long Portuguese Indiaman of the early 1600s. Loaded with 450 people, including crew and passengers, food and water for six months, spares and fittings, personal possessions of each and any one, plus the main reason of its voyage: a cargo of around 250 tons of peppercorns, which was complemented with many other spices and drugs, countless bales of cotton and silk cloth of all sizes and colors, furniture, porcelain, exotic animals and thousand of luxury items manufactured in the most exquisite workshops of the far east.
Audrey Wells, a student in the Department of Visualization Sciences at Texas A&M University, has modeled one of these ships and then tried to populate it and load it. Each decision regarding the partition of a space, the design of a detail, the dimensions of a ship part, was pondered, discussed, evaluated in light of the known archaeological parallels, iconography, and contemporary literature.