CONNECTING a piece of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, sections of Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, and a Masai warrior’s club, is the Boat Project, and the result is much more than just a seafaring vessel.
The 30ft yacht Collective Spirit is all about stories, built from pieces of wood with a personal tale to tell.
In March last year, artists Gregg Whelan and Gary Winters known as ‘Lone Twin’ visited Hastings, one of many destinations in the south east, to gather donations of wood. All the contributions and stories were digitally recorded.
Residents from Hastings and St Leonards contributed more than any one town in the south east.
Those items, including a mast donated by Hastings fishermen and a piece of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, have now been incorporated into the boat’s hull.
Funded by the Arts Council, and part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the yacht set sail from Chichester on its maiden voyage in May, and three of the six crew nominated by members of the public are from 1066 Country.
While most other towns will only catch a glimpse of Collective Spirit as she sails along the coast, but Hastings will have the boat on display at the Stade Open Space over the weekend of July 7 and 8.
On Friday, July 6, at noon the boat will be met at sea by a flotilla of Hastings’ and St Leonards’ vessels led by Hastings Fishing Fleet and will moor off The Stade beach where it will be greeted by the Hastings Shanty Singers, followed by a traditional blessing of the sea by Father Robert Featherstone of the Old Town Parish. The boat will then be brought out of the water and on to the Stade Open Space for the duration of the weekend, from 10am to 5pm.
A packed programme of events is planned including a two-day singathon with a wide range of community and school choirs; a sound and image installation and new works presented by Project Art Works. Visit www.theboatproject.com or for information on events in the Stade Saturdays programme visit www.hastings.gov.uk/community_living/2012_events/stade_sat/.