ART // CULTURE // EDUCATION // HERITAGE // PERFORMANCE // VENUE // doing things different

Explore North Kent


Sat 24 – Sat 31 May | 10.30am-4pm | Explore North Kent aboard LV21 | FREE
Suitable for all ages. Under 16 yr olds must be accompanied by an adult at all times aboard LV21.

In support of the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership’s Explore North Kent Week and in collaboration with various partners, LV21 is filled to the brim throughout the half-term week with family-friendly arts activities and exhibitions inspired by our environment.


The BIG Picture | Sat 24 – Sat 31 May

Come aboard to celebrate the magnificent landscape of the Greater Thames and discover its unique beauty, rich wildlife and the people who care for it.

Rising sea levels, commercial shipping, intensive farming and heavy industry are just some of the daily threats faced by nature in the Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area. Yet on the doorstep of one of the world’s foremost waterways, lies over a thousand square kilometres of mudflats and marshland, home to some of Britain’s rarest species such as the water vole and the marsh harrier.

In a bid to see the estuary’s beauty inspire others, the RSPB and its partners launched The Big Picture – Greater Thames Photography Competition in February 2014. The competition, which closed in April, received entries from all walks of life, from 8 year olds to 80 year olds, from avid photographers to people who have captured a great moment on their smart phone.

As well as the exhibition of the winning photos aboard, RSPB staff and volunteers will be on hand to tell about the amazing wildlife living on your doorstep and how you can help to give nature a home. You can also vote for your favourite photograph and enter a prize draw to win it.

Whilst onboard, don’t forget to join the RSPB’s world record-breaking attempt to make the longest line of bunting, showing just how many people care about nature in the Greater Thames!

This project has been supported by Defra, DCLG, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Natural England and EU LIFE+ Communications Programme.


Museum of Water by Amy Sharrocks | Sat 24 – Sun 25 May

A collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories.

Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and the different ways we access and enjoy it around the world. In preparation for a large-scale installation in Somerset House, London as part of the LIFT Festival in June 2014, the museum has been collecting water from different sites worldwide and would love to include your water in the growing collection. This is your chance to take part! Give us your water! Choose water that is most precious to you, find a bottle to put it in, bring it aboard and share why you chose it.

Watch a short film of artist Amy Sharrocks telling the story of Museum of Water

In celebration of our access to fresh water in this country, running alongside the museum is Water Bar, a free pop-up outdoor bar serving only water.

For more info visit: or and follow on Twitter @MuseumOfWater #giveusyourwater

F.I.V.E. & The Sensory Experience in Medway | Mon 26-Fri 30 May

FIVEA community scholarship project by University of Kent Music and Fine Art students.

Site-specific installations and accompanying sensory activities exploring the five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – and showcasing new video works inspired by the five senses from 25 videoartists across the five continents.

With the use of natural elements, lights, sounds, reflections, visual and tactile effects, a ‘curiosity cabinet’ and purposeful art works will encourage children and their families to engage, investigate and feel their environment whilst discovering the five senses in unfamiliar ways.

Alongside activities aimed to stimulate a sense of discovery and promote an alternative way to engage and communicate with children, the display features F.I.V.E. – a new international videoart project created by Magmart to explore the five senses.

For more info visit and


Along the Way by artist Paul Fowler | Mon 26-Sat 31 May

Exhibition of paintings made in response to a series of circular walks undertaken by the artist using the Saxon Shore Way in north Kent.

Paul lives with his family near Faversham in Kent and works from a studio close to the coast and the Swale estuary, which has inspired much of his work.

“I like to employ a range of materials and techniques in my work, often water based media – acrylic, watercolour, ink – on a variety of surfaces from paper to board, canvas to driftwood. The paintings explore the landscape and coastline of Kent, its flora, fauna and endlessly changing light and atmosphere. Paintings are begun in the field, after an initial period of walking, sketching, observing and committing a place to memory. From this starting point the work starts to take on a life of its own, with chance and accident in the painting process being an important factor in the finished painting.”

For more info visit

Figure Ground’s Public Art Trip | Fri 30 May

Figure Ground, artist led organisation working within the public realm, makes a welcomed return to Gillingham Pier.

Figure Ground have received funding from the Arts Council England to embark on a Public Art Road Trip which will take place over the next two years. They will be visiting and connecting emerging artist-led public art schemes, projects and initiatives around the UK. As definitions of public art evolve, they are interested in how artists articulate what work in public means, and what form that work takes.

The idea is a mapping of art in public, by artists with artists, seeing the lay of the land for public art since the shift in funding and provision for the arts from the early 2000s to the present. In a series of short journeys which make up the ‘road trip’, and take place at intervals through 2014-2015, Figure Ground Artists will research, meet with, and debate with emerging and more established practitioners who have self-initiated projects or artworks.

Figure Ground will be taking a mobile studio from place to place as they meet artists in the places they make work, and collect conversations, objects and images from their practice.

Each trip will produce a short publication which will be collated together to form a book at the end of the project.

LV21 will be the first stop on that journey!

For more info visit

Come and join in the fun-filled week aboard!

 Please note:The renovation of the historic lightship is ongoing and as such some areas are not accessible. There are steep stairs and narrow passageways throughout the vessel. Please wear suitable, flat footwear.