Floodtide Navigates: SGSU’s yacht residency for Big Green Week


In July 2015 SGSU Director Ellie Shipman was invited to take part in an week-long creative residency aboard the 14ft yacht the Jacomina as part of composer John Eacott’s project Floodtide Navigate. ‘Floodtide makes music from the movement of tidal water. Floodtide Navigate is currently touring aboard sailing vessel Jacomina around Europe, the UK and Ireland, making sonifications of tidal waterways.’ Floodtide Navigate

I joined composer, musician and project founder John Eacott, and writer, curator and project producer Lena Augustinson in Cardiff Bay. As a socially-engaged artist and community engagement practitioner I climbed aboard the just 3-strong Jacomina with an open mind, not knowing what the outcome of my time there would be – especially with no ‘community’ to engage with and a completely open brief.

The next few days were spent literally being ‘shown the ropes’ and learning the basics of sailing – tacking and jibing around Cardiff Bay – preparing for our journey across the Bristol Channel and awaiting the arrival of artist and photographer Emma Critchley

We passed the rest of the time discussing sustainability, regeneration and climate change, which informed a series of embroidered flags I created as we went. Proudly flying my personal mottos for a sustainable future, my flags read: ‘Embrace change’, ‘Collaborate more’ and a call for ‘Greater collective action’.

Keen to widen the conversation and spark some imaginative responses from the people of Bristol, this led to me running a two day ‘Flags for the Future’ workshop back on dry land at Bristol’s Future Hub for Big Green Week. I asked residents and passers by to write their hopes, fears and desires for the future onto red and blue flags, which we then launched onto the Jacomina in a decorating ceremony accompanied by John’s trumpet solo.

The flags now fly from the mast of the Jacomina, taking Bristol’s hopes for the future onwards on their journey. Find out more and follow the rest of John and Lena’s tidal music making voyage at www.floodtide.eu