The Boat Project is Olympic Art

pink fleece photo

Photo: theboatproject

Every Olympic games have to have a cultural component and London is going at it full speed. A massive red sculpture by Anish Kapoor will tower over the site and posters by 12 modern British artists will be created around the country.

The Boat Project is all about making a boat from the old wooden memorabilia that people donate. It's a collective artwork, in which every piece of wood has a story.

donations boat photo

Photo: theboatproject

Everything that is donated will be used to construct a 30 foot seaworthy yacht to be sailed along the southeast coast of England in 2012. It's a collaboration between Lone Twin, the theatre company, a professional boat builder, a boat designer and the public.

Like some of the other Olympic art projects, it's about memory, and history and participation. The pieces of wood that they bring and the stories that are associated with them are what is important to the work. Wood is touch and organic and has a timeless feel to it. They are calling the boat "a living archive of our lives".

As the two creators, Lone Twin, say "We want your wood - but not just any old wood. Pencil or piano - exotic as Zebrawood or as familiar as pine - we want something that's a part of you, something with a story to tell. Come and tell us that story, and your donation will be used along with thousands of others to construct this seafaring record of our lives."

project boat photo

Photo: theboatproject

Donations so far include a mast from a Hastings fishing boat, driftwood from Thailand, an old hairbrush, and a fragment from Brighton's West Pier.

The boat is being built in West Sussex. Designed by a professional boat builder and designer, it will be a 30ft day sailer. The contemporary design that is envisioned will depend entirely on the nature of the donations so it is quite a daunting task.

The crew will be nominated by the public, including the skipper. They will be trained by the team if necessary. All land lubbers can apply. It will be a month long voyage along the south east coast of England, departing May 2012 and stopping at four locations along the way. At each stop-off point there will be a festival of arts events and activities to celebrate the boat's arrival.

At the end the boat will be donated to the local community.

More on Olympic Art
Artists are Taking the Lead at the 2012 Olympics
A Floating Cinema for the Olympics
Memory Marathon is the Start of London Olympics 2012

Related Content on