The arts element of Sail Britain is a fantastic way of communicating the importance of the ocean, as well as a unique opportunity for creative people to experience an inaccessible environment. With creative and cultural exploration as well as community engagement being an important part of the project, we have held several public exhibitions and symposia from London to the Orkney Islands focusing on ocean topics, sustainability and life on the high seas.

‘The Fragile Ocean’ – November 2019

‘The Fragile Ocean’ was our end of year show following the 2019 season, held at St John on Bethnal Green and in the Lumen gallery with super/collider, an arts organisation exploring the intersection between art and science. 25 artists came together to show their work from Sail Britain’s 16-week summer programme, and the Saturday night symposium showcased the work of a number of artists and projects. Emma Harry and Laura Copsey spoke about ‘islandness’, the nature of islands and what makes them special, and their experiences from ‘The Wild Islands’ and ‘The Life of Islands’ residencies which they ran respectively. First mate Charlotte de Mille spoke about the importance of educational projects and her work with Ocean Ambassadors, and artist Camilla Brendon and marine biologist Britt Alexander told us about their work combining art and science following our September ocean plastics voyage. Marine conservationist Sam Pearce gave us a wonderful account of his South Atlantic voyage studying whales, and Fernando Martin Velazco of the Stultifera Navis Institutom spoke about the work he and his team are doing using poetry and music as acts of reconciliation between humans and grey whales in Baja California.

Tiny Ocean Plants

‘Tiny Ocean Plants’ is an interdisciplinary educational programme developed by artist Camilla Brendon and marine biologist Britt Alexander exploring the intersection between art and science for children. Britt and Camilla sailed with us in September during the week the IPCC released their Special Report on the Ocean and Cyosphere in a Changing Climate. The workshop explores the wonderful world of phytoplankton and their importance in mitigating the Climate Emergency, through learning and collaborative drawing, and has now received local government funding to be developed further. Well done Britt and Camilla!

‘Sailing on a Plastic Sea’

In October 2018 we sailed up the Thames into central London to St Katharine Docks for a programme of events to inspire positive change for the oceans. In response to Sail Britain’s summer voyages, our end of season event comprised a series of workshops, talks and exhibition exploring the themes of marine plastic pollution, ocean ecology and beyond to raise awareness of the importance of our marine environment. We are grateful to St Katharine Docks and the Thames Festival Trust for their generosity in supporting this programme.