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Estuary Festival 2016

September 17, 2016 - October 2, 2016

LV21 will arrive and moor up at Gravesend for the duration of Estuary 2016 to present a mix of art, workshops, music and film on board. With special events, talks and workshops on board during Shorelines, and hosting visual art works as part of Points of Departure.


What the river told me | Cathy FitzGerald

Dr Cathy FitzGerald makes award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC and international broadcasters and is the founder of White Stiletto Productions. Her credits include audio features on angry Vietnamese ghosts, magic carpets, and a museum of broken hearts. When not making documentaries, she’s the caretaker of Radio 4’s recurring creative writing series, ‘The Invisible College’, and creates podcasts, audio tours and apps for many of the UK’s major cultural institutions including The National Gallery, Tate Modern and the V&A. She has a Dphil in the work of Charles Dickens and is currently working on ‘Burn Slush!’, a documentary for the BBC World Service about reindeer racing in the Arctic Circle.

What the river told me: Every day, people all along the estuary come to commune with the Thames. A man who has never left Essex eavesdrops on the radios of tankers as they pass. A widower stops to talk to his dead wife. An elderly couple rest on a bench and reminisce. The river hears it all. Our antenna – made from a jet of Thames water receives these voices in the ether and makes them audible. By Cathy FitzGerald, in collaboration with Tony Churnside and Nick Piggott.


Empire & Arcadia | Dan Thompson

Dan is an award-wining social artist, writer, and speaker living in Margate. His work is about people and places. He is interested in the creation of social capital, in abandoned or underused spaces, and in DIY approaches to art, culture and social action.

Empire & Arcadia: LV21 will host a reading room, about history, migration, patterns of change (and boats!), with views of river.


Little White Feather and the Hunter | Anna Lucas

Anna Lucas is a London based artist predominantly known for her work in film and video. She also makes drawings and still images. Her practice engages and develops from observations of social networks and individuals in response to specific geographic and architectural locations. Underlying these themes the work also refers to the processes of filmmaking and the materiality of film itself. She is interested in the camera as a research tool and with the simultaneous engagement and detachment that occurs in the moment of looking through a lens.

Little White Feather and the Hunter (2008): Following an encounter with a lute playing Pocahontas enthusiast in Essex, Lucas travelled around Virginia in the US using the local legend of Pocahontas (who died in Gravesend in 1617) as a virtual guide. This film presents academic and personal accounts of episodes in the life of Pocahontas including interviews with a Chelmsford anthropologist and ancestors of the Powhatan tribe. The work navigates the delicate and passionate opinions of the diverse storytellers, without attempting to uphold factual accuracy, but instead revealing different forms of truth and knowledge. The voices are accompanied by images of hunting and fishing in the estuary landscapes of Essex and Chesapeake Bay, and features shanties and specially written folksongs sung on location in Harwich.


SUBVERSIVE – Flag Making Workshop | Katrin Albrecht

Sat 17 & Sun 18 September 2 – 4pm
aboard LV21, Town Pier Pontoon, Gravesend DA11 0BG

FREE but pre-booking is essential as spaces are limited


Suitable for all ages and abilities. Children aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Join artist Katrin Albrecht aboard the historic lightship to create your own artwork inspired by her brand new work Cut From the Same Cloth, an installation of 11 cut up and reassembled flags flying in Gravesend High Street during Estuary 2016.

By cutting up and joining together small scale EU national flags and fabrics, participants will create new individual flags that are then gathered to form a long bunting and flown aboard LV21 throughout Estuary 2016. Katrin will guide participants through the design process, explain the method and help with practical steps of cutting, pinning and sewing the new creations. While crafting the flags there is also an opportunity to reflect on the activity and discuss the wider themes of Katrin’s work, such as nationalism, being a human being, borders, freedom and identity.

Following the flag making process participants can also make their own flag design inspired badges or fridge-magnets to keep.

To book your place please email your name, contact details and preferred workshop date to: Limited places (max. 20/workshop) are allocated on first come, first served basis so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Please note: Access to the ship is via steep gangway and stairs. Please wear suitable footwear and mind your step aboard.

For more information about Katrin Albrecht


EXTRAORDINARY ESTUARY | Two True Stories of Two Remarkable Men

Thurs 22 September 6-8pm
aboard LV21, Town Pier Pontoon, Gravesend DA11 0BG

FREE but pre-booking is essential as spaces are limited

To book your place please email your name and contact details to Limited places are allocated on first come, first served basis so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Please note: Access to the ship is via steep gangway and stairs. Please wear suitable footwear and mind your step aboard.


Presented by Frances Rowley Beaumont


Through a slide show of personal photographs, Frances Rowley Beaumont, artist, writer and Occupational Therapist, will share her insight into the extraordinary life of her close friend Owen John Oliver or as he was better known, ‘Joliver’. He was known as the captain of the Hobbit tug on the Thames and Medway, but he was also an artist. Joliver was born without hands, yet was fiercely independent and adventurous. He was an inspiration to anyone who knew him.

Frances will tell the story of his life and welcomes the audience’s personal memories of any encounters with Joliver for the book she is writing about his life.


Presented by Patrick Wright and Big Fish Arts


In 1974, the great East German novelist Uwe Johnson moved to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. He lived there until his early death, aged 49, in 1984. Unknown to his perplexed admirers in divided Germany, he went about as ‘Charles’ and imagined writing a collection of ‘Island Stories’ about the people he got to know and appreciate.

Patrick Wright (of King’s College London) will describe the background to Johnson’s Sheerness writings accompanied by members of Big Fish Arts group, who will read selected examples.


The evening will conclude with sea shanty performance by Swinging The Lead at the Three Daws Pub located next to the town pier.





September 17, 2016
October 2, 2016
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Estuary Festival


LV21 .
St Andrew's Quay
Gravesend, Kent DA11 0BJ United Kingdom
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*Under 16 year olds must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times aboard LV21 unless otherwise agreed with the organisers.
*Access onboard the ship is via steep staircases. Please wear flat, non-slip shoes.
*No smoking (including electronic cigarettes) and no alcohol permitted onboard the ship.
*Opening times may vary dependent on tide and weather conditions.

Contact us if you would like to discuss access restrictions in more detail.

Watch some films of previous events and activities