BRISTOL.- As the popular art exhibition Withdrawn comes to a close on Sunday 6th September, artist Luke Jerram has donated all five boats of the installation to community groups and worthy causes around Bristol and the South West.
Found in Leigh Woods, a national nature reserve on the edge of Bristol, Withdrawn is an art installation and landmark event launched by artist Luke Jerram and the National Trust and their partners, the Forestry Commission. It has surprised and excited audiences as part of Bristols year as European Green Capital since 17th April when it first opened.
The installation of five abandoned fishing boats, set within a tranquil glade in the woodland on the edge of the city, was designed to challenge people's views on the impact of over-fishing and marine pollution on the future of our planet and eco-system.
From April, the boats have been host to a variety of well received events including cinema nights, theatre performances, academic talks and discussions, walks, storytelling and choral performances. With hundreds of visitors for each event, and visits from the general public on a daily basis, the art installation has been seen by over 25,000 attendees.
Nicole Daw, Leigh Woods Engagement Ranger comments, We have welcomed hundreds of visitors to Leigh Woods over the summer and were delighted to see their reaction to Withdrawn. It has been such a fun and imaginative project and provoked some really interesting questions. We would like to particularly thank our partners the Forestry Commission, who manage the area of Leigh Woods, where the exhibition has been.
Now, as the exhibition comes to a close, the installation will be taken apart and the boats will be transported to their new homes to serve as props, pirate ship playgrounds, community spaces and a local bar.
Luke Jerram comments, It is strange to think in just a few more weeks the boats will no longer be resting in the woods, but the great news is they all have new homes to go to. So you may well see them again in and around Bristol, as well as a bit further afield.
The largest of the boats, the Seahorse will be converted into a childrens play area that is being put together by community group at Washingpool Farm in Easter Compton. Grey gull will find its new home in the popular Old Bookshop bar in Southville where the owner has plans to cut the boat in half and turn it into a cocktail bar.
Jeanne Marie will be travelling the farthest of all the boats and will find a happy home at the Brocksmoor Hotel in Cornwall. The smallest of the boats, Martha will go to the Victoria Park Primary School in Bedminster, Bristol where it will brighten up their playground, provide an opportunity for role play.
The final boat, Gloria Jean, will become a Pirate Ship feature in the meadows of Iron Acton, a small village in South Gloucestershire. Village organisation, Acton Aid, intend to use the boat as an extension of the local childrens play area as they aim to bring people together from all walks of life.
Peter Huish, committee member of Acton Aid, spoke about the addition of the boat to their village saying, I heard of Lukes kind intentions to donate them to a worthy cause and after I explained our plans he has been completely in support and keen to help us.
I am delighted to receive the boat on behalf of Acton Aid and the Parish of Iron Acton. I believe that it will become a cornerstone of the facilities that we offer the local children both as a play area and a focus for other events, including an educational prop for the village school. When installed I expect that we will have a number of events around the boat including a naming ceremony and we might ask the children to help decorate it so that it becomes their boat.
The boats will begin their disassembly and trips across the South West on Monday 7th September, the day after the end of the exhibition.
Luke Jerram is one of the most exciting artists working in the UK today. He is known worldwide for his street pianos installation Play Me Im Yours, and the giant waterslide he installed down Park street in Bristol in 2014. His multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in Bristol and working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects over the last 17 years which have excited and inspired people around the globe.