The Boat-Sculpture

Participatory Educational Project at Watermans Arts Centre, London



The installation was created during the Travel Unravelled summer program at Watermans Arts Center (1 August- 1 October 2017) .
It consists of a relational structure intended to generate a space for free creative flow. Paintings, drawings, monoprints, screenprints and poetic texts were added to the boat-like structure by the participants, either through workshops led by various artists or, freely, while visiting the gallery.
The artistic intention was to poetise the space, to generate a space for creation and poetical communication.
The concepts of the art workshops were created in collaboration with the theatre director and educator Francesca Camozzi and the construction of the installation and delivery of art activities, through the dedicated, invaluable contribution of the artist programmer Simona Lupusor.
The boat-like shape of the site-specific structure makes reference to the environment of the gallery, situated on the bank of the river Thames and its surrounding docs and ships, some inhabited by the locals. The curvilinear space also refers to the waving surface of the water nearby. The poems later added to the boat by participants beautifully echo this metaphorical spatial experience.
The art piece was part of a series of various workshops that were part of the Watermans Travel Unravelled program.
The art educational workshops that led to the creation of the boat-structure were the following:

-Printmaking –monoprints with various textures (inspired by surrealist imagery , children experimented with printmaking, and the results were vivid and fascinating)
-Making miniature boat sculptures (small assemblages suggesting the shape of the big structure they became part of)
-Creating original celestial globes inspired by instruments for navigation ( a concept created by the artist educator Francesca Camozzi; after researching old navigational instruments , maps of the sky and mythological storytelling about constellation, children created their own imaginary constellations and painted them on their model plaster globes)
-Screen-printing the boat-sculpture’s sails (workshops created by fine artist Nicole Line)
Most of the participants in the workshops were very young, with ages ranging from 4 to 16, but adults also collaborated and contributed to the art piece.

The project was coordinated by Caroline Jeyaratnam-Joyner, Head of Participative Arts Development of Watermans Arts Centre.