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Supporting the RNLI Newhaven Art Installation: Knot On Call

Supporting the RNLI Newhaven Art Installation: Knot On Call

Brewers Seaford said ‘shell yeah!’ to supporting the RNLI’s latest project by providing Albany paint free of charge.

RNLI Newhaven is taking part in September’s Artwave Festival in Newhaven. Collaborating with local artist, Pete Hellicar, the interactive installation will pay homage to the lifeboat heritage in the community and recognise the importance of lifeboats in our daily lives.

Knot On Call opened on Saturday 11 September. Pete Hellicar says, "I was interested in building on the evocative language of the sea. As a subject, the sea provides both perspective and an eternal rhythm. It is at the primal heart of us all. Both chaotic and calm, balanced yet treacherous."

To create the poems, Hellicar used the cut-up technique, popularized by writer William S. Burroughs. "We printed some 750 words collected from seafaring-related texts and cut these into strips. These strips were then mixed and placed on a large table. The exercise of randomly selecting oblique sentences and pairing them with others threw up surprising combinations. Sometimes dark, other times light and full of whimsy. The word and line selection happened over several weeks as friends and collaborators visited the studio and played with the process."

The anamorphic poems focus from a fixed perspective, creating a natural resolve as the viewer moves around the piece. Hand-painted into the hull of the boat, the text appears to be floating in a rippling sea. Hellicar achieved this 'Anamorphic' effect by hand-tracing projected text.

Roz Ashton, RNLI Newhaven Lifeboat Press Officer, says, "We appealed to our community via social media to help find a suitable vessel for the project. We have been bowled over by the support of friends, local people and organisations who have given their time, physical strength, and not least, materials. Their generosity and spirit have made the installation possible." The installation also includes a selection of RNLI equipment.

"A chance for visitors, young or old, to handle some RNLI kit and even dress up as lifeboat crew. We are delighted to take part in Newhaven’s Artwave festival. To celebrate Newhaven Lifeboat’s heritage and the essential role the Lifeboat and her volunteer crew continue to play in our community."

Newhaven Lifeboat was established in 1903, one of the oldest stations in the country operating an all-weather Severn class lifeboat. Newhaven Lifeboat is a part of the RNLI, a vital charity saving lives at sea across the UK.

The Artwave festival allows art lovers to discover new artists and their work with trails all around Lewes, Seaford and Newhaven during the month of September.

The RNLI installation can be found in the community courtyard of The Sidings, a two-minute walk away from Newhaven train station.

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