Spring on Ikon Slow Boat

It’s been a great spring on board Ikon Slow Boat! A converted narrow boat, Slow Boat is a unique floating space for local communities and artists to make and experience art in a stimulating and creative environment. Here’s an update of what’s been happening on board:

Remembering Cucumbers


Artist Kirsty Clarke led a two-part fermenting workshop on board Ikon Slow Boat. Using the art of ‘controlled decay’ guests transformed foods as Slow Boat cruised past the remnants of Birmingham’s industrial past. Participants got to sample the ferments, alongside some lovely food that Kirsty had prepared and included conversations around fermenting food, food sustainability, and veganism.

International Dawn Chorus


International Dawn Chorus day is held on the the first Sunday in May each year and acts as a reminder to appreciate the natural world around us by listening to bird song. To mark International Dawn Chorus day, Ikon joined sound artist Duncan Chapman and Jake Williams, Community Engagement Officer from The Wildlife Trust for a magical journey to discover native and migratory bird species signings along Birmingham’s Canals.

“As the nightclubs of Broad Street closed spilling their slightly unsteady patrons onto the streets we went in search of other wildlife. From the Ikon with coffee and pastry a short ride on the Slow Boat took us to the place for listening. A canal junction and bridge next to a sleeping railway depot. Jake had given us a crash course in birdsong identification so armed with portable recorders we walked silently to listen. A gradual accumulation of birdsong joined by the sounds of the city waking up, the hiss of train brakes, a solitary jogger, then cyclists and distant traffic. Listening back to the recordings you can hear our presence, footsteps on gravel, whispered voices and breath. On the way back to the Ikon listening to the sounds and looking at their frequency patterns on sonograms.” –  Sound artist Duncan Chapman

Listen to the recording of Birmingham’s Dawn Chorus here!

“It was excellent, multiple pleasures: travelling the canal, listening to the birds with expert guidance, the sonogram print out. The availability of the recording unit which enhanced the listening. Over all listening to a city waking up. Brilliant.” – Participant

Canalside Forage and Feast


James Wood (Totally Wild UK) lead an in-depth day of canalside foraging in the beautiful sunshine! Participants traveled on Ikon Slow Boat along the canal before stopping at various locations to discover what foraged edibles could be found. The group then prepared a delicious lunch guided by foraging expert James Wood.

Meet the Artists: idle Women


idle women founders Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle hosted an informal discussion about on the water, their slow touring canal project in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. They were joined by artist Beth Derbyshire and Boatel owner and skipper Saima Razzaq to discuss women on the waterways and cultural identity.

Summer Events on Ikon Slow Boat

Interested in Ikon Slow Boat? Find out more here or take a look at our upcoming events!

Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race
Saturday 15 June
12.00pm — 4.00pm
FREE, drop in

Fly the Flag
24 June — 29 June 2019

Flying the Flag with IYP
Thursday 27 June
6.00pm — 9.00pm
FREE, drop in

World Music Voyage 
Thursday 4 July
6.00pm — 8.00pm
£5, Booking essential

Meet the Artist – Dion Kitson
Thursday 11 July
3.00pm — 5.00pm
FREE, drop in

Rie Nakajima LP Launch
Saturday 20 July
2.00pm — 4.00pm
£10, Booking essential

Slow Moving Words: Writing for Performance
26 July — 27 July 2019
£40 for two days


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