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Wood from the Olympic Park Velodrome to form part of Cultural Olympiad sea-faring artwork

  • Date: 7 April 2011
  • Area: London, National, South East

Wood left over from the recently completed Velodrome in the Olympic Park is being donated to The Boat Project, an innovative London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project funded by Arts Council England, which is creating a 30-foot sea-faring boat from donated wooden objects of personal significance.

The Boat Project is a collaboration between arts company Lone Twin, Olympic Silver Medallist and boat builder Mark Covell, and international boat designer Simon Rogers. Since the project launched earlier this year, they have been inviting the public to donate their wooden belongings to help create the boat, which is being constructed at Thornham Marina, West Sussex.  Mundane or extraordinary, the wood can be small or large, but it must contain a story.

Lone Twin explained: 'The wood from the Velodrome will join an extraordinary array of donated objects including tennis rackets, rulers and a light box from the Ark Royal, to become a beautiful boat - and a living archive of people's stories and lives.'

Anyone who wants to donate their own piece of wood to the boat can bring it along to Thornham Marina at weekends, or at a series of donation days across the south east region. For more information visit The Boat Project website.

In May 2012 the completed boat will set sail on its maiden voyage along the south coast of England, crewed by a lucky few winners of a nomination process and led by a professional skipper.

The Boat Project is one of 12 Artists taking the lead commissions, funded by Arts Council England, to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad across the UK. 

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director for London, Arts Council England said: 'What's really great about this project is how it's literally bringing together sport, art and local communities, which was always an ambition of the ancient Olympics. I think the finished boat will be a thing of beauty and wonder, and I can't wait to see it.'

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, sees the project as a great opportunity for people of all ages to take part in the arts and to feel a greater connection to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

She said: 'We're pleased to see so many people getting involved in The Boat Project and look forward to observing the sense of pride and ownership from local communities as the boat takes shape. The Velodrome donation will sit proudly alongside all the other wonderful donations that people from along the South Coast and beyond have already given. I look forward to watching the construction of the boat progressing in the coming months and hearing more about the fascinating donations that will be part of the boat's story.'