After completing Doggerland, which took months of work. I decided to do some quicker projects before launching into another large boat. So over the last few weeks I’ve done a bunch of stuff. From starting kayaking lessons, to meeting with mentors, to making a miniature dug out canoe, and building a new studio space to continue my practice beyond this funding period. Posts about all these things will soon hit this much neglected blog.
When reflecting on my current practice I remembered a video by Bob &Roberta Smith, filmed for Folkestone is An Art School that was one of the sources for my original cardboard canoe… it was far from a sole source, and really was something that galvanised ideas I was already having, but still it was significant. In that video Bob made a small concrete boat. So, the idea hit me to make my own- in homage to Bob and the place that video had in the journey and life of my boats.
The original thought was of course to make a full size one, but resources and logistics being what they are that wasn’t possible (perhaps if someone lets me cast on the beach itself one day and it became a permanent sculpture- a thought for the future), so I made a model closer in scale to the original.
I will be ‘launching’ the boat this morning. Making this work feels like a pure expression of something I’ve begun to feel is of paramount importance to my current practice… and that is that whether I’m making boats, or paddles, or anything, they are all objects that are activated by being used.
This concrete boat will only be complete and active when we go down to the beach and attempt to make it a boat. The fact that the inappropriate material obfuscates the object’s purpose as a boat only highlights the tension that these boats are only really boats when they are on the water.
I am making a video which will include the process of building the boat and the launch that somewhat parodies the pedagogy of Bob Smith’s original… so look out for part 2 of this post later today.