LV21 residency (2011)

FigureGround was introduced to Paivi at one of the Chatham day bursary events, which is when we heard about her project of restoring and renovating a decommissioned lightship off Rochester Pier.

Paivi invited us to put on an event on the lightship, and working with the aim of introducing artists to the commissions on offer with Kent Council for their insite program, we devised a 3 day residency on board.

The residency took place in 3 days over a month. It was devised around the idea of working collaboratively and site specifically, generating new work and conversations about practicing in the public realm.

The first day was designed as an introduction to the LV21, the crew, the locals, FigureGround and each other. It was an opportunity to formulate and discuss ideas collaboratively and individually and decide on which locations within the ship they wished to work in.


Artists were put into groups at random to encourage collaboration but were given the freedom to work as they saw fit. Some artists chose to collaborate with locals or with the crew, others worked within their groups and others worked individually.


Artists were encouraged to keep working on their project ideas until the installation day, day 2 of the residency, which was a month later. Invited to take up actual residence on the lightship or in town, several artists spent the night in hammocks and in the cabins of the ship. Day 2 closed with a barbecue on deck for all the artists, crew and locals involved in the project.


Day 3 was presentation day, where the lightship was open to the public to bear witness to the industry of the last month. All the rooms on board were occupied by performances, sculptures, installations and interactions. A full programme of  activities was witnessed by a steady stream of the public from 12-5pm.