Slow Boat22.06.2022

IYP Journal – Catch-up

By Rosie Abbey, IYP Coordinator 

Throughout December 2021 and January 2022, Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) focused on the redesign of Slow Boat. In collaboration with artist Betsy Bradley, we experimented with painted colours and forms. We created new painting tools from wood, tape, and everyday household objects. Graphic designer and illustrator Laura Jaunzems translated this creative activity into a series of boat designs, from which we selected a final design.

Laura also joined forces with us on a publication that reflects the first year of the project. The book, which doubles up as a sketchbook, contains writings, drawings and text from IYP and artists.

Whilst the boat was being repainted, the group took up residence in Birmingham School of Jewellery. A series of workshops introduced us to the technical processes of wax carving, sand-casting with pewter, enamelling and wire work with precious metals.

On 3 March, we held the first Slow Boat Review, hosted by artist and writer Cathy Wade. The evening consisted of ‘in-conversations’ between IYP and our collaborators from the past year.

In late March, we collaborated with artist Leanne O’Connor on a collaborative collage drawing activity related to the Arts and Crafts movement. This led on to a drawing walk, identifying key sites around Birmingham city centre.

In April, artist and writer Jaz Morrison showcased MOTHERSHIP with IYP, cellist Millicent James and Word Life Corral at The New Art Gallery Walsall. We worked with Jaz Morrison to consider the themes of surveillance, technology and Afrofuturism, present in Keith Piper’s exhibition Jet Black Futures, through movement and prop-making.

With Slow Boat in Wolverhampton, we completed a photo walk with artist Black Country Type, exploring colour, pattern and text within architecture in Wolverhampton city centre. We also had a hot glass workshop at Wolverhampton School of Art, with Yhonnie Scarce, Morgan Stockton and glass technician Simon Eccles.

We organised a film screening, called IYP and Friends, for Flatpack Festival 2022. For this, we curated content around the theme ‘Perception vs Reality’, which showcased films by us and our friends.

During this period of time, IYP also made two trips to British Art Show 9 in Wolverhampton, and to Ingrid Pollard’s exhibition Carbon Turning Slowly at Milton Keynes Gallery.


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