Ardrossan to Oban via the Crinan Canal

4 – 11th May

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super / collider Residency

Dates 4 – 11 May 2019

To find out more or to book a place, email

super / collider and Sail Britain are very excited to announce a collaborative programme exploring the ocean from micro to macro perspectives.

About the Residency
Bridging the disciplines of art, science and astronomy, this residency is a unique programme offering a view into the hidden worlds of the ocean, both above and below the surface, and looking far above to the universal forces which govern its rhythms. It will also be an opportunity to learn to harness the power of the wind to travel under sail through some of Britain’s most beautiful coastline on an ocean-going sailing boat. Under the guidance of super/collier’s Louise Beer and sailor Oliver Beardon, artists will have space to explore topics from the micro to the macro in a unique environment. No previous sailing experience is required to take part in this residency.


Starlight Navigation
Skipper Oliver Beardon will discuss the history of celestial navigation and how it has enabled humanity to spread across our blue planet. Using found materials, Oliver will help participants to create a contemporary ‘stick chart’ to represent our journey using historical techniques employed by the islanders of the Pacific to represent winds, currents and islands.

Microscope Photography
We understand the world through the human perspective. Participants will be invited to collect natural and unnatural items along the journey. A moving image microscope will then be used to examine these objects in order to see the world through a different lens. The images will be printed via a Canon Selphy Printer. This will also be an opportunity to learn more about the creatures which inhabit the ocean and the challenges they face. The boat is equipped with a microplastics net which offers increasingly stark reminders about our impacts on the marine environment.

Underwater Sound Landscapes
Using the onboard hydrophone, participants will be able to listen to the communication and sounds made by the underwater world. These sounds will be recorded and shared with participants to be used in a collaborative sound piece made by Louise Beer and John Hooper.

Deep Time on the Isle of Arran
Along the way we will learn many things that will help us to see our environment in a different way.
A local geologist will challenge our perception of rock as solid and unmoving, and will talk about how rock can act like fluid over thousands of years. If humans could live for thousands of years, we would perceive the Earth’s crust and its’ many layers shift, allowing mountains to rise, shift and compress. This talk will prompt us to consider the concept of deep time in relation to geology and the human perspective of time.

Exhibition in Lumen Crypt Gallery
The participants will be invited to put artwork into a group exhibition in the Lumen Crypt Gallery, in Bethnal Green. The show will be a response to the participants’ journey through the lochs and islands. The exhibition will last for 3 days, and will be a great way to showcase the participants’ artwork.

Leaving the Clyde we will sail North towards the beautiful islands and wooded lochs of Argyll. Depending on the weather conditions we will either head towards Loch Fyne and on through the beautiful Crinan Canal or if we fancy an adventure, round the Mull of Kintyre. On the way we can explore the Isle of Arran and the Kyles of Bute.

We will be living onboard yacht ‘Alcuin’, Sail Britain’s research vessel. While not a life of luxury, she is a cosy home and provides all we need for the duration of the residency with cosy berths and well equipped galley.


The trip fee of £695 covers the cost of the boat, crew, all equipment and training you’ll need onboard, as well as food, fuel and gas for the week. Not included is your travel to and from the start/end points of the voyage and any expenses ashore, although these tend to very limited out in the wilds!

Please see this page for hints and tips about funding your trip if applicable.