After our wonderful residency aboard lightship LV21, Co-owner Gary Weston has made another brilliant video to show what we got up to and presented on the Public Open Day. As you can see, our Light Vessel Historical Society lecture and museum display, including Elsa Molpe’s painting, is shown on the initial screen of the video.
Thanks again to Paivi and Gary, LV21’s owners and Figure Ground for an incredible opportunity to explore such an astounding place with a great bunch of people.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this amazing mini-residency on Light Vessel 21. Not only did I get to explore some intriguing nooks and crannies, but I also got to collaborate with some really interesting artists in response to the place. Steve McPherson, Sarah Britten-Jones, Katy Beinart and myself discovered that we have a mutual fascination with archaeology and the way in which we believe the labels in museums as absolute truth even though they are often just supposition.
This led us to create an amateur historical society. We gave three lectures in the control room about “The Secret History of LV21″ including extracts of diaries that had been found from the all female crew who crewed the ship for a period during WWII. This was further supported by the range of displayed artefacts, mentioned in the diaries. These included a paper model of LV21, a painting made on board of a face like element of the ship, and a replica signalling balaclava. Many were fascinated by the story, a journalist from a local paper was taking vigorous notes and we had people mention that we should investigate further and turn it into a tv documentary, a book or a film. As Steve stated, we would need to get someone to do the writing for us since none of us are very good at creative writing.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to figure ground for organising the event and to ship owners Paivi and Gary for hosting it all and letting us run riot! It was a great pleasure to meet all the other artists and I hope to see you all again soon and thanks also to everyone who came to see the art, watch the performances and hear our lecture.
This Wednesday, we open up LV21 and our exhibition of collaborative artworks, responding to the ship. The ship will be free to explore between midday and 5pm on the 20th April, so if you can make it to Gillingham Pier that day, I thoroughly recommend a visit. I’m pleased to be one of the twenty artists selected by figure ground
an artist’s network that aims to reconfigure the current context of art in public places.
Directions to Lightship event
From London it takes about 45mins on the high speed train from St Pancras Intl or Stratford Intl to Gillingham. You can also catch a slower train from Victoria or Charing Cross. It takes about 20mins to walk from the station to the Lightship.
Here is Gary Weston’s beautiful short film of the first day of our mini-residency on the lightship
Last weekend, on the 19th March, I was lucky enough to go on the first day of a mini-residency on a lightship! 20 artists were invited by artists network Figure Ground to join them in responding collaboratively to the vessel. LV21 is a magnificent red ship, bright against the crisp blue sky, that is becoming a floating cultural facility. I’m very pleased to be collaborating with Katy Beinart, Steve McPherson, and Sarah Britten-Jones. When we introduced ourselves and our work to one another, we seemed to find several common threads of interest like archaeology, a curiosity for how objects could be interpreted, and the powers of museology. It was really great talking to them about these things and finding such common ground. We then explored the ship, from the top of the tower to the depths of the voids. I was in my absolute element getting to clamber about and explore in tight and intriguing spaces! Totally inspired by the ship and its history, we talked more about what we’re going to work on together for the show next month. There will be a lecture and there will be objects. That’s all I’m saying for now but it would be great if you can come and join us aboard, on the 20th April to come and experience the place for yourself, explore and see some fascinating art made by a jolly lovely group of artists. I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of it!