The Voyagers

The Voyagers was one of the Dover Arts Development War & Peace commissions and was part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of Dover’s 3500-year old Bronze Age Boat.

As part of The Voyagers I invited members of the public to join me in Dover’s Bronze Age Boat Gallery to make two related, collective pieces of work: boats of remembrance and a boat cloth.

“The project reflects my interest in the symbolism of boats and in terms of its personal significance, the boat as a vehicle for the traumatic leaving behind of the familiar. The project explores personal and collective memory through shared, communal making. The title alludes to Now, Voyager, the ship on which Bette Davis completes her transformation from an awkward, unattractive spinster, abused by her mother to a beautiful confident woman in love.”

The Voyagers was exhibited as a three-part installation in Dover museum: Boats of remembrance and Boat cloth of names which I made together with members of the public, and a video piece by French artist Philippe Bazin. The film is a 50-minute shot of the port of DurrësAlbania, but as Philippe Bazin says it “presents a space of transition, a port, this could be of Dover …. or anywhere.”

Thanks to Joanna and Robert Ozimek, Joanna Jones and Chris Burke for their help with the installation of the work and to Rosie James for her help with the boat cloth.

Link to video of making the paper boats


I was in this morning and I think it looks great. Thanks for bringing a new dimension to the gallery and our lovely boat, and some new admirers! Nice to see my mum looking down on me!

(Christine Waterman)