Welcoming ‘Collective Spirit’ to our shores

Collective Spirit, the yacht built during Lone Twin's Boat Project
Collective Spirit, the yacht built during Lone Twin's Boat Project

TODAY the yacht constructed using wood donated by the people of the south-east, including a mast from East Hastings Angling Club arrives at The Stade.

The arrival of Collective Spirit, a living archive of people’s stories and lives, the result of the Boat Project by artists Lone Twin, heralds the beginning of a weekend of celebratory events.

The yacht set off on its maiden voyage earlier this year and has since been sailing around the UK coastline.

The project, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, has stronger links to Hastings than most places, as more donations of wood came from here than anywhere else in the south-east, and three of the six crew members are from the area: Michelle Die’tt from St Leonards, Steve Ashmore from Hastings and Jerome Timmins from Bexhill.

Councillor Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “Here in Hastings and St Leonards we really took the idea to heart and donated most of the wood that’s gone into building the yacht. Each piece has its own story, including the walking stick I donated which belonged to my grandmother.”

Michael Hambridge, Arts and Cultural Development Officer at Hastings Borough Council, said: “Due to extreme weather conditions, the Boat’s passage has changed this week and in order to be sure of meeting its schedule of visits, will be arriving by road instead of by sea, at 12 noon on the Stade Open Space on Friday 6th July.

“The Boat will however, be sailing past Hastings on the following Tuesday July 10 between 11am and 1pm.”

The Hastings Sea Shanty Singers will be welcoming Collective Spirit at the Stade Open Space upon arrival.

On Saturday and Sunday, the boat will be on display between 10am and 5pm, where it will be serenaded by a selection of community choirs in a two-day Singathon.

In addition there will be a host of other events taking place on the Stade and throughout the Old Town.

This evening (Friday, July 6) at 8pm, at The First In Last Out, in High Street, Thirty Pounds of Bone presents The Ships Log.

Thirty Pounds of Bone is Johny Lamb’s alt-folk project, where he will write and produce a song as he accompanies the crew during each leg of the boat’s maiden voyage. Over the weekend (July 7 and 8) from 10am to 5pm at Stade Hall is The Boat Project Exhibition, a sound and image installation tells the story of The Boat Project and many of the local wood donations.

On Saturday (July 7) at 5.30pm, at The Stables Theatre, is The Boat Project – a Presentation.

Lone Twin’s artistic director Gregg Whelan and crew member Steve Ashmore give a talk on the Boat Project, from conception and build through to launch and the maiden voyage.

To coincide with the Boat Visit to Hastings, the Jerwood Gallery will be hosting nautical Spotlight Tours concentrating on those works of art from

the Jerwood Collection that have a “flavour of the sea”, from 11am to 5pm over the weekend.

The tours will be free and will be run on a “first come, first served” basis. For information call 01424 425809.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to see new works presented by Project Art Works in collaboration with Jerwood Gallery, Hastings Borough Council and Lone Twin.

This on-going enquiry collates recordings and data from different investigative encounters with unfamiliar spaces by people who have perceptual and/or cognitive impairments.