MK to host Collective Spirit

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A nationally significant 30ft boat named ‘Collective Spirit’, made of donated wood marking poignant life moments of people all over the UK, will arrive at Queen’s Court, thecentre:mk this month

On Friday, July 20, the boat will be harboured for everyone to enjoy until Sunday, July 29. The project is one of the main highlights of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2012 and has been developed by creative company Lone Twin.

As one of the furthest points from the sea, Milton Keynes will give the boat and its crew a chance to dry off and share the many moving, extraordinary and memorable stories behind the pieces of donated wood and the work undertaken by adventurous boat builders and the many thousands of people who have contributed time and good-will to The Boat Project.

Cricket bats, doors, driftwood, plaques and a sewing box full of memories are just a few donations for the colossal creation. The boat itself has sailed a summer-long maiden voyage-come-festival that will conclude in the passing over of this beautiful boat into a public resource managed by a charitable trust, signifying the boat as a collaborative sign of life that will exist long after its last port of call. The Lone Twin Boat Project is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12 week nationwide celebration from 21 June until 9 September 2012 collaborating with the best artists from the UK and across the world, and is also part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The Boat Project is the winning commission for the South East region and is funded by the Arts Council England. Its voyage started on 7Th May in Emsworth and has sailed to four preceding ports; Brighton, Portsmouth, Hastings and Margate before it ‘sails’ into the heart of thecentre:mk.

The Ship’s Log is a supporting musical journal of celebrated alt-folk music by Johnny Lamb from Thirty Pounds of Bone that will represent the journey of The Boat Project. Johnny will write a song during each leg of the voyage, and perform it live with local musicians at each of the Ports of Call, thecentre:mk being one of the fantastic five. Thirty Pounds of Bone will collaborate with Milton Keynes’ Singing City and perform at the welcoming ceremony on Friday 20 July at 17.30 along with the joyful sounds of the fabulous MK Brass band.

Come to see the boat close up between 20 July and 29 July, listen to the stories behind the donations, hear first-hand from crew members and visit the ‘Listening Buoys’ for the whole family to truly connect with the art project on a totally sensory level.

Melanie Beck, Head of Marketing and Communication, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with IF: Milton Keynes International Festival to bring The Lone Twin Boat Project to Milton Keynes, and are eager to welcome both boat and crew to thecentre:mk this month. Seeing the boat close up will reveal the skilled workmanship and true community spirit that has constructed this wonderful piece of public art. This project forms a unique ingredient for a busy festival summer in Milton Keynes and thecentre:mk are proud to be an instrumental part in pulling our community together for an artistic journey.”

For more information about the Festival, visit www.ifmiltonkeynes.org,

The Boat project is at: www.theboatproject.com ‘Like’ the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/theboatproject or tweet them; Twitter name is @TheBoatProject