Dutch/American Artists on an Art Boat


Dear people at The Shelter Blog,

Last week four artists (three Dutch, one American) floated 240 miles down the Chattahoochee River to the Gulf of Mexico on an art boat made of salvaged material. Three artists work with found materials, the fourth — a photographer/‌filmer — captured the 8‑day trip.

Since we slept on the boat — cooked on deserted beaches along the river though — we do realize it is not a houseboat, but it indeed was our shelter for over a week. We hope you like what you see!

During the trip we collected trash and made more art. It was an amazing adventure. “We” are:

  • Butch Anthony, folk artist from Seale, Alabama (www.museumofwonder.com)
  • Niek Wagemans, who fuses waste materials, broken furniture and abandoned spaces into new ensembles (www.fabriekvanniek.nl)
  • Diederick Kraaijeveld. He creates realistic mosaics out of found wood. (www.oudhout.com)
  • Gideon Elings, cameraman

The idea came up exactly one year ago, at the end of a road trip from Seale to Apalachicola on the Gulf. We were having coffee in the early morning, saw a trunk float by in the river and Butch said “we came driving, but we could have floated.”

We — or I should say, mainly Niek Wagemanns — built the ship on the base of an old pontoon boat. The rest is done in found materials. Butch and Diederick did the finishing touches.

image 52

image 51It was the trip of a lifetime. We collected waste materials along the shores of the river. However I usually work in old painted wood, I used some roof tin I found to create this skull. We were sailing a Pirate Raft, after all:

Gideon photographed and filmed. We just finished editing our “trailer”:

We hope you like what you see. As an attachment I am sending some more photos free of right (by Gideon Elings). If you like it, I can send more high-res photos through WeTransfer.

Longer clip will be out later. Next year we will build a new vessel and float down the Elbe River in Germany.

Warm greetings from Holland

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