Audiences in excess of 10 million people have enjoyed the annual outdoor festival Totally Thames since it’s launch. Originally called The Thames Festival (until 2014) Totally Thames works with children and young people in London, across the UK and the world to connect people to their rivers through creative arts-based education – collaborating with international artists and welcoming new and emerging artists to celebrate the heritage, archaeology and richness of the tidal Thames river.
Gemini Print director Mark Tulley worked with Totally Thames 2019 festival team to create the Programme of Summer Events and was privileged to be invited to this year’s launch of Totally Thames by the Marketing Manager Darren Smallman.
Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor of Culture and Creative Industries, commented “London is a beacon of inclusiveness and acceptance, so there really is no better place to display The Ship of Tolerance. The project is a wonderful example of the power of art to unite communities and inspire young people.”
The handcrafted 60-foot long wooden ship is a floating sculpture. Displayed in the Royal Docks in August and will be by the Millenium Bridge near to the Tate Modern in SE1 (if travelling by River, alight at Bankside Pier) throughout September (until Sunday 6th October).
“Art plays a major role in connecting us and shifting our mindset”
The acclaimed artists Illya and Emilia Kabakov worked with in the UK Art Action Change (founded by Nadja Romain) in collaboration with Thames Festival Trust to utilise the silk painting artworks of a thousand children from 40 primary schools in London, refugee groups in Birmingham, Leeds, Peterborough and Calais, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and cultural organisations, to create the sails.
Mark Tulley said “Working with a wide range of community and art groups across the UK means the Gemini Print team are lucky to be involved with many examples of inspiring work. On a beautiful sunny day it was incredible to see the launch of Totally Thames 2019 and the beautiful ‘Ship of Tolerance’. It is difficult to express what a strong message it represents about working with tolerance, trust and respect regardless of faith or ethnicity, age or community. I would urge everyone to take the opportunity to see it but do be aware that if there are strong winds the sail will not be raised”