Slow Boat was Ikon's innovative three year project (2011-2013) aimed at engaging young people with contemporary artists and the local heritage and history of the Inland Waterways.
The Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) is a group of young people aged 15-19 from Birmingham who meet regularly to make artwork, meet other young people, host events and develop their own projects.
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.
Each year a contemporary artist worked in residency alongside the IYP to redesign the boat. In 2011 Dutch artist Marjolijn Dijkman made her mark on the Slow Boat, in 2012 the group worked with artist Sarah Browne, to explore the definition of Scarcity in modern society life. The group launched Scarcity Radio in the summer during the five week trip to London, in collaboration with fellow Chisenhale Gallery's Youth Programme Propeller.
In 2013 we were delighted to be working with Navin Rawanchaikul. Inspired by his Thai-Indian heritage Navin planned our most colourful journey to date, organised in collaboration with sampad, Birmingham's dynamic development agency for South Asian arts. Slow Boat hosted Navinland, a floating campaign to find other Navins with a number of celebratory events organised along the way.