Ikon Slow Boat

Using blogging with the Ikon's Youth Programme.

May 2011 - 3 years

Slow Boat was a three year programme run by the Ikon gallery’s Youth Programme (IYP) where a group of young people aged 15-19 from Birmingham meet regularly to make artwork, meet other young people, host events and develop their own projects. The Slow Boat was a converted canal boat and a catalyst for exhibitions, events and discussion. Each year IYP members started by working closely with a lead contemporary artist who shared their practice with the group. IYP worked on board to organise a programme of activity and explore the canal network.

After doing the Ikon’s Favourite Things talk, I was hired by Kate Self to develop the Slow Boat website. I proposed that rather than take the fee for a fancy design, we use a simple Wordpress blog and build it up over the year, treating it as a notebook and repository for photos, video and texts. (At the time, before social media as we now know it had established itself, blogging was the big thing and I had carved a niche in Birmingham helping arts organisations to do it.)

My work here was essentially support for Kate, developing her knowledge as much as providing the website, and could be considered another web-dev job amongst many I took at this time. But due to working closely with Kate I build a relationship with Ikon’s educational department which doubtless influenced my development as an artist over the next few years, specifically the photography masterclasses I ran.

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