Re-floating the Souvenir, 2015



An ambitious collaborative project and public monument by artists YoHa and Critical Art Ensemble in partnership with The Arts Catalyst Graveyard of Lost Species involves recording 'species' from wildlife, marine creatures, livelihoods, fishing methods, landmarks and local dialects that once flourished in the Estuary and are now disappearing. The artists are leading a set of enquiries with people in Leigh-on-Sea and Southend to gather local knowledge of and expertise about 'lost species'. From this research, the artists will create a public monument, using a local boat wreck, the 'Souvenir' - a 40ft 12 ton Thames bawley, rescued from the estuary mud. This summer, the boat will be cleaned and re-configured, whilst sited in a prominent public setting on Belton Way, the main thoroughfare between Leigh-on-Sea station and the old town. In June 2015 the boat wreck was dug out, made safe, patched up, floated and sailed and is being worked on while the artists and researched collect 'lost species; from the knowledge of local people. Please note this is a rough cut of the final film. Film by edited James Smith and produced by Alistair Oldham.