the boat project
As people all over the world gather to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a remarkable boat will set sail on its maiden voyage. The boat, crafted by a fearlessly adventurous team of boat builders and volunteers is a living archive of people's stories and lives, a 30ft seafaring yacht made from donated wooden items.
Since February 2011 members of the public have been donating their wooden belongings to the project. Featuring the mundane and the extraordinary, donations are of every shape and size: from toothpicks to coffee tables, hair-brushes to lock gates, picture frames to guitars The unifying factor is that that each has played a part in the life of the donor, all have a story to tell.
The Boat Project is produced by performance company – Lone Twin, until recently based at The Basement, Kensington St. Brighton. The boat, designed by Simon Rogers is being built at Thornham Marina, Chichester Harbour by a team of professional boat builders and local volunteers led by sailor and boat builder Mark Covell [Olympic Silver Medalist, Sydney 2000]. It will be named by the community and will be launched from Thornham Marina in May 2012 to undertake a maiden voyage with a professional skipper and a crew of 6 drawn from nominated volunteers from the South East region. The voyage, along the south coast will include stops at five locations the first of which at the end of May 2012 will be Brighton with the boat moored at Brighton Marina. At each stop off point there will be a programme of events to celebrate the boat’s arrival and onward journey and here in Brighton the boat and associated programme will be part of the Brighton Festival. At the conclusion of the Olympics and Paralympics the boat will be handed over to a trust set up to manage and maintain it in the long term, preserving the boat as a permanent resource for the community, to be used as a space, catalyst and resource for arts and sailing activity.
The Boat Project is part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The Boat Project is the winning commission for the South East region and is funded by Arts Council England.