Ikon’s Slow Boat programme takes place onboard the Aaron Manby, a canal boat generously leased from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. Read more about its history.
Slow Boat was created in response to the Ikon Youth Programme’s request for ‘a space of their own’ and they used it to produce, present and promote their work. IYP also worked with other artists to turn Slow Boat into a ‘cabinet of curiosity’, a radio station and a floating campaign considering notions of identity, taking journeys around the Midlands and to London and back.
BLACK COUNTRY VOYAGES
Black Country Voyages saw Slow Boat navigate the West Midlands’ canal network with a focus on the Black Country. It became a space for stories of displacement and migration, a floating laboratory of herbal concoctions and an archive of people’s ideas about the natural world.
LOOPING THE LOOP
Looping the Loop took place between the canal and community spaces in Birmingham’s Ladywood district. During this time Slow Boat was the vehicle for a socially responsive programme, with a particular focus on encouraging greater understanding of the experiences of refugees and new arrivals to the city through artists’ residencies.
Resident artists: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham, Max Eastley, Mahtab Hussain, idle women, Dion Kitson, Matthew Krishanu, James Lomax, Claudia Losi, Maral Mamaghanizadeh, Mothership Projects, O Yama O, Ming de Nasty, Kateřina Šedá, Jane Thakoordin, Justin Wiggan, Kaye Winwood (Slow Boat Producer).
With the support of Freelands Foundation, over three years Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) navigates the waterways on board Slow Boat. IYP are collaborating with creative thinkers and makers to reimagine Slow Boat as a local art school.
Set against the backdrop of funding cuts to arts education, we are expanding the alternative curriculum offered by IYP, raising fundamental questions concerning the definition and relevance of art.