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Throughout August, Project Art Works artist/makers are in residence on the ONCA barge. The project offers a chance to explore creative practice in a new environment with a deep connection to the landscape.

Week one was an opportunity to settle into the space. We all got used to the gentle rocking of the barge, and people who usually come to the studios on different days had the chance to meet each other for the first time.

Artists get to know each other over refreshments


We began with open creative propositions, offering choice and flexibility for everyone taking part. Throughout the day, artist/makers moved back and forth between their own practice and exploring the barge and surrounding environment through different creative processes.

Aida and Paul worked alongside each other for much of the day. Both artists decided to focus on a specific area of their wide-ranging practices – Aida on her colouring and collage and Paul on his photography.

Aida's set up for the start of the day

Lucy and Mark built on their own multi-media practices. Lucy chose to re-focus on a costume she has been working on for some time, using the time to really move the project forward.

Someone is wearing the head of Lucy's costume to try it out for size

Meanwhile, Mark took inspiration from images sourced on his journey to the barge and in the marina itself. Later, he used collage to create paper frames for his paintings.



The lower deck of the barge was set aside as a camera obscura. By covering the porthole windows and leaving just a small hole for the light to pour through, we caught projections from the outside and brought these images into the barge.

Beyond the barge, artist/makers took walks in the marina to find sources of inspiration and experiment with new processes.

Paul exploring the marina on foot

Like our studio base in Hastings, the barge is a sanctuary space set just slightly aside from a busier area. We’re looking forward to furthering our explorations beyond the barge in the coming weeks.

Find out more about the ONCA Barge project here.

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