- Current Issue
- Featured reviews
- Art & artists
- Around the galleries
- Architecture & design
- Photography & media
After a year of painstaking artistry and craftsmanship, a 30-ft sailing boat fashioned from hundreds of donated wooden objects will be launched near Chichester, England on Monday 7 May 2012.
This floating collage of memories, The Boat Project, forms one of the South East regions contributions to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad as part of the Arts Council England’s Artists’ Taking the Lead project. It includes some 1,200 donations, including a tiny piece of the Mary Rose, a sliver of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, a salad server in the shape of a spanner, a plank fromthe new London 2012 Velodrome, several hockey sticks and a Victorian policeman’s truncheon.The Boat Project has been created by Lone Twin, one of Europe’s leading performance companies, led by Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan.
Between February and August 2011, Lone Twin visited 20 locations across the South East and invited the public to come to a boat shed on the Hampshire / West Sussex border to hand over wooden items that form the entire boat. Donations of all shapes and sizes were accepted – from large crates used to transport British Securities (AKA gold) to Canada during the Second World War, to a hairbrush used by a make-up artist at Pinewood Studios in the 1960s. The only criteria were a) the items were, of course, made from wood and b) had a story behind them.People from all walks of life responded by giving treasured items from all parts of the world. Each and every fascinating back-story was digitally recorded and photographed with its donor.
Lone Twin and the build team – which included acclaimed sailor and boat-builder Mark Covell (Olympic Silver Medallist, Open Star Sailing, Sydney 2000) and international boat designer Simon Rogers (Artemis 20) -brought traditional wooden boat-building techniques together with 21st century technology to construct a yacht capable of reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots (fast enough to wake surf behind).
The celebratory launch event on Monday 7 May is taking place at Thornham Marina, Emsworth near Chichester between 11.00 and 15.00. It will unite the thousands of people who came together to create the boat and celebrate the first time she is publicly placed on the water. A traditional fete will provide music, entertainment, refreshments and good times to mark the occasion as one to be remembered.
The vessel’s name has been chosen by the public and the winning nomination will finally be unveiled as part of the Launch day. G
Lone Twin partner, Gregg Whelan, says:
The boat will be winched by a giant crane into the water, where she will go through the traditional champagne-smashing ceremony and her name will be revealed. A female celebrity will perform the honours, as boating tradition dictates it must be a lady who names the vessel. I don’t want to say who that lady will be just yet though.
Musician Johny Lamb, who goes under the name of Thirty Pounds of Bone will be performing with Mary Hampton as a warm-up for his task of writing and performing a song for each leg of the maiden voyage. The Boat Project Book will also be launched – every part of the project, the stories behind the donations and the people who gave them are all documented here.
The boat and her crew will then continue on the maiden voyage along and beyond the South East Coast, stopping off at locations where a festival of events - including newly commissioned artworks, music, dance and artist talks – will celebrate the boat’s arrival and mooring.
Short interim stop offs and sightings along the entire route will be scheduled, allowing as many people as possible to experience the journey as it takes place.
The maiden voyage is built around five main Ports Of Call where a festival of events will take place celebrating the arrival, visit and departure of the boat and her crew. During the journey there will also be many mini breaks and sighting opportunities.
7 May 2012 - The Launch - Thornham Marina, Emsworth
9 May 2012 – Emsworth Quay
18 May – Inaugural sail from Hayling Island
18-19 May - Shoreham
Sat 19 – Sun 27 May – FIRST PORT OF CALL BRIGHTON
2-5 June - Passage to Portland
5-6 June – Lymington
7 June - Isle of Wight
23 June – 1 July – SECOND PORT OF CALL PORTSMOUTH
1-4 July – Littlehampton
5 July - Eastbourne
6 July – Sighting from Bexhill-on-Sea
6-8 July – THIRD PORT OF CALL HASTINGS
9-10 July – Dover
10 July – Folkestone
10-12 July – Ramsgate
13–16 July – FOURTHPORT OF CALL MARGATE
18 July – Gravesend
19-29 July – FIFTH PORT OF CALL MILTON KEYNES
30-31 July – Barford St Michael
1-11 August – Weymouth