Films afloat

Back in December, we reported on the Floating Cinema due to take to the debris-strewn waterways of East London. Now, finally, the good ship is gearing up for her maiden voyage; having announced a brilliant programme of events coupled with some stunning design work.

Created by Hackney-based architects Studio Weave and artist duo Somewhere (Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie), The Floating Cinema will host screenings, canal tours and Open Thursdays with rare films selected especially by Somewhere. The Floating Cinema is a continuation of UP Projects’ Portavilion programme of temporary pavilion commissions, this time for the waterways of east London.

The Floating Cinema in the evening
The Floating Cinema in the evening

The boat itself has been designed by Studio Weave. Created from an old work boat, it features bespoke flip-up cinema seats, and specially created textiles from a local textile designer. The roof of the boat incorporates a quilted structure – a canopy-like space which will be used as an outdoor viewing area.

The illustrations shown on the beautiful Floating Cinema website (brought to us by the Useful Arts Organisation and Somewhere) will adorn the canopy in the project’s signature turquoise and black colour palette, with illustration by Jill Tytherleith.

The Floating Cinema in the evening
The cinema

Portavilion curator Emma Underhill says, ‘The artists were keen to pick up on the language of narrow boats and boat paintings, and give it a contemporary twist. There’s also the Art Deco theme with the very plush cinematic experience, combined with the traditional narrow boat roses and castles.

The boat
The boat

‘The illustrations use the buildings that you can see around the East London waterways – they combine the language of canals with Art Deco cinema and local landmarks. The whole look and feel is about combining the traditional elements of canal boats with a contemporary aesthetic.’

One of DW’s highlights of the programme is the first of the weekly Open Thursday sessions, The Artist’s Eye on 7 July. The event will showcase films inspired by East London’s waterways, including New York artist Marie Losier’s Slap the Gondola! featuring everyone favourite pandrogynous genius, Genesis P.Orridge. Genesis is a topless mermaid, FYI.

The Portavilion branding
The Portavilion branding

The Floating Cinema runs from  1 July – 18 September on the waterways of East London. For more information see www.floatingcinema.info.

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