Looping the Loop (2017–2019) 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.
For Looping the Loop, Slow Boat featured a design by Lamorna Conlon (Ikon Youth Programme member), boasting a bold and striking exterior inspired by colours repeatedly used by one of Ikon’s founding artists Jesse Bruton.
Residents 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).
Alongside the artists’ residences and associated events, Slow Boat was the venue for many other activities, including live music events and creative performances, family workshops, film screenings, cooking and dining experiences and creative demonstrations. Slow Boat was also a safe place of discussion for Ikon Youth Programme and local communities to exchange stories of migration whilst exploring the local canals.
Looping the Loop was supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring, Michael Marsh Charitable Trust, W.A. Cadbury Trust, Grantham Yorke Trust, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Canal & River Trust.