Big Art, Tall Stories and Big Tall Ships

26 March 2014

Big Art, Tall Stories and Big Tall Ships
Young people across the UK are using Sail Training International's Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta (28 August - 9 September) to get creative.

As a build up to the event in Falmouth, artist in residence for the Regatta, John Dyer, has unveiled his fireworks and fiesta painting, based on memories of the last Falmouth Tall Ships Festival in 2008. 

Now  – with the help of story-tellers, performers, a playwright and a hip-hop poet - youngsters are being asked to paint or tell their own salty tales as part of The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project.

More than 40 international vessels, along with an anticipated 100,000 visitors, will converge on Falmouth from 28 August for four days of celebrations before the start of the race. The Race, organised by Sail Training International, takes the vessels along the south coast via the Isle of Wight and on to the Thames, with further celebrations at Royal Greenwich, 5-9 September.

John Dyer’s painting reflects the excitement and atmosphere of the Regatta, with entertainment and activities throughout the whole town. 

Young people rolled up sleeves at Falmouth Art Gallery, where ten year old Charlotte Taylor from Constantine School declared, “Everyone’s having a party in John’s painting, the Tall Ships are all lit up at night and the fireworks are like big splashes across the sky. It’s the fireworks that are in my painting – but my story’s going to be about a cat that gets lost.”

John and the creative team are working closely with Festival organisers led by Visit Cornwall and Royal Greenwich – and with Dea Birkett, of the national initiative ‘Kids in Museums’, who is helping to roll out the Big Art and Storytelling Tall Ships Project across the country. Dea describes John’s painting and the project as, “…entirely entrancing, engrossing. It opens up new worlds.”

“This whole project is a huge creative stimulus for children,” says artistic practitioner John Frankland. “The writers have all seen the painting in advance – James Graham, the National Theatre playwright, has written the first scene of a play for children to finish; Maxwell Golden has written a hip hop poem…it’s all about firing young imaginations to express themselves in pictures and words.”

The project is gathering momentum and endorsements from across the UK: Philip Mould OBE, art expert on the BBC’s “Fake or Fortune” says, “The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project is charismatic. John Dyer’s new Tall Ships painting, combined with professional storytelling, creates an irresistible hub for creativity to flourish.”

“You quite often hear of a work of literature inspiring a piece of art but not so often the other way around,” says John Dyer. “I believe everybody is born highly creative and artistic – it’s what helps us develop and learn – and it’s a real privilege to be encouraging artistic talents, working with children across the country in this special and magical event.”

Watch a short film describing the project.

For all essential information about the Regatta in Falmouth here.

Join the Facebook page Tall Ships Falmouth 2014

Image: Tall Ships and fireworks from Falmouth's last festival in 2008 by John Dyer. Photo 
by Lee Whitehead

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For further information contact Sally Titmus, Communications and Marketing Manager, Sail Training International   +44 (0)23 9258 6367, mobile   +44 (0)7827298733

About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. 

It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events.  STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.
The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.

What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.
A two-minute film can be seen here.

Twitter: TallShipsRaces


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