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 met regularly to make artwork, host events and develop their own projects. The Slow Boat is a converted canal boat used for exhibitions, events and discussion. Each year IYP members worked closely with a lead contemporary artist who shared their practice with the group as they organised a programme of activities that explored 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 / social media job amongst the many I took at this time. But through working closely with Kate I built a working relationship with Ikon’s educational department, informing my development as an artist over the next few years.

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