Call to action: Seaside tales and adventures

10 October 2011


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A model of the HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at the Battle of TrafalgarA model of the HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar

When we were planning out monthly themes for the Discovering Places blog and gave October the theme of water – I ‘m sure the thinking was it would be slightly wetter than what it has been! But complain we are not as it has been wonderful weather to head out discovering. Last week we followed hidden waterways across the UK so I think it is only natural that we have emerged from these twisting waterways at the …… Seaside.

I am reminded of the seaside on a daily basis as I walk across Trafalgar Square and Admiral Horatio Nelson looks down from his column at me. From the corner of my eye I can see the wonderful art work by Yinka Shonibare on the forth plinth. A model of the HMS Victory, Nelson flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, sits in a glass bottle on top of the plinth with it sails full of wind. On a fine day you can look up at the ship and it seems to be sailing across an ocean of blue sky. The boats 37 sails are made from patterned textiles associated with African dress which hint at the artist’s motivation for making the piece, which he states as being,”Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle reflects specifically on the relationship between the birth of the British Empire and Britain’s present-day multicultural context.”

This way to the Boat Project

Another seafaring vessel to pop up on my radar this summer was on the Kent Coast in a boat yard. This boat was in literally in pieces or should I say was being made up of other peoples pieces. The Boat Project is a living archive of peoples stories and lives being turned into a 30ft seafaring vessel. It is an Artists Taking the Lead commission for the Cultural Olympiad and you can find out more about it by clicking on The Boat Project. In February of this year the artists Lone Twin invited the public to donate their wooden belonging to the project. Mundane or extraordinary, each donation will be used to create the boat. Each donation was logged and given a number and when each bit of wood is used the number of the wood and its location is recorded and you will be able to locate your donation on the finish boat. I spent the morning there and if you have the chance then go and visit. You can even volunteer and become a ship builder.

Looking forward to hearing about your seaside or seafaring adventures …

Posted by Claire Horan, DP Project Manager

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