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Highlights from London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad in the East – plus a look at what’s ahead

  • Date: 8 August 2012
  • Area: South East
The Boat Project

The Boat Project. Credit: Photo courtesy of Lone Twin

Barely stopping for breath, the East of England has played host to a magnificent spectrum of performances and events as part of the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. And the great thing is that there’s still more to come.

This August and September see The Boat Project coming to Norfolk, plus a chance to see two new outdoor works from Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Live Art Collective East, further screenings of On Landguard Point, and finally the extraordinary rare ancient Chinese exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Arts Council England is a proud sponsor of London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad and supported many of the associated events, including torch relays, through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme, which is an open application fund.

A few of our London 2012 highlights so far have included:
•    Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s How like an Angel
•    The premiere of the East Artist taking the Lead, Pacitti Company’s On Landguard Point, a  film that hit multiple screens across the region
•    Crash of the Elysium, the masterful Doctor Who adventure at The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich
•    Eight unique commissions by Live Art Collective East, an artist led organisation based in the East of England

A unique yacht made of wooden donations and memories from thousands of people will be visiting Norfolk over two weeks in August and September.

The 30-foot yacht is the centrepiece for the South East Artist taking the Lead project, The Boat Project. It was created by artists Lone Twin, a team of professional boat builders - including Olympic Medallist Mark Covell - and volunteers. Named Collective Spirit, the yacht is truly a living archive of people's lives and stories.

Collective Spirit and its crew will stop at the following points:

•    24 to 26 August – Somerleyton Estate, Lowestoft
•    1 to 2 September - Great Yarmouth  Maritime Festival
•    7 to 9 September - Wells Next the Sea Festival

The yacht has been sailing around the South East throughout the summer and is coming to Norfolk as part of the Norfolk - Looking Forward to 2012, the county's partnership programme to make the most of the opportunities from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Lone Twin Boat Project Norfolk Tour has been made possible through a partnership with The Working in Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, North Norfolk District Council, Folk East and Sea Change Arts.

Also still to come is Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s Walking, a participatory event on the North Norfolk coast from internationally acclaimed director Robert Wilson. Walking takes place 20 August to 2 September, as part of London 2012 Festival. During the course of four hours, the audience is taken on a deliberately slow three-mile walk along the coast, taking in dunes and woodland, hill and valley, meadow and beach, and fixed art installations by Dutch visual artist Theun Mosk and theatre maker Boukje Schweigman. Norfolk and Norwich Festival is an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation.

The North Norfolk coast also welcomes LACE commission Out of Water by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright from 25 to 27 August. Out of Water is a stunning choral and live art piece at dawn on Holkham Beach. The work includes a newly commissioned sound piece from composer Jocelyn Pook and evokes the stories of swimmers’ battle to survive against the power of the sea. LACE was supported with an Arts Council England Grants for the arts award.

In September, our Artist taking the Lead project On Landguard Point’s film, a homage to the East of England and its people, will be screened on 2 September at Cinema City Norwich and 9 September at Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge. The Pacitti Company, who oversaw the project, filmed entirely in the East of England, using a series of real life events and engaging thousands of people within the community. The film explores the ideas of ‘home’ and what ‘home’ means to us. The film captures the history and culture of the East and is set to an original score by Michael Nyman. The Pacitti Company is an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation.

A People’s Peculiar has also opened at Abbot’s Hall, Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket. The Pacitti Company has been gathering stories about the East of England since 2011 and has used their findings to create a new permanent exhibition. From these stories, 205 symbols, representing the character and history of the region, were selected and handcrafted into silver charms. These symbols are also presented in a digital and interactive way in the exhibition and online where you members of the public can even add their own entry.

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China
, a phenomenal exhibition of rare ancient Chinese treasures from the Han Dynasty’s 2000-year-old royal tombs, will be on at the Fitzwilliam Museum until 11 November, as part of the Stories of the World programme. The Fitzwilliam Museum is an Arts Council England Renaissance Major partner museum.

London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June to 9 September 2012, bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK and marks the end of the Cultural Olympiad.