Floating Cinema – A Smaller Sound, A Bigger Crowd

A Smaller Sound, A Bigger Crowd
A film and performance by Ian Giles telling the story of The Docklands Bell

Documentation of this event is now available to view here.

On The Floating Cinema
Friday 15 July 2011 at 1pm, 3.30pm and 7pm

Free, but there is limited capacity on the boat so advance bookings are essential


The Floating Cinema, a continuation of UP Projects’ Portavilion programme of temporary pavilion commissions, will be navigating the waterways of the Olympic host boroughs this summer. Created by Hackney-based architects Studio Weave and artist duo Somewhere (Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie), this extraordinary customised narrow boat hosts a varied and vibrant programme of free on-board screenings, quirky canal tours, talks and workshops.

Artist Ian Giles has been specially commissioned to create a new live work by the Floating Cinema in collaboration with Canary Wharf Group and the Live Art Development Agency.

A Smaller Sound, A Bigger Crowd is a new performance with film and music. Viewers are invited to travel on the Floating Cinema narrow boat as Ian Giles and his collaborators tell the story of the fictional Docklands Bell.

The Docklands Bell was the largest iron bell ever made and would be rung to announce cargo leaving the docks. As metal was in short supply during the First World War, the Docklands Bell was melted down to provide every cathedral town in England with a set of small hand bells to call people to worship. The melting of the Bell meant that a new whole was created with many people holding a small part of the bigger whole; they became connected through sound across the country.

Through its wry humour this new work sets out to explore ideas of transformation and unity.

Along the barge route, bell ringers will play on bridges and paths, to bring the story and surroundings to life. Ian Giles will work with award-winning Folk singer Sam Lee to write ‘The Ballad of the Docklands Bell’, which will be performed live on the barge.

Ian Giles is an artist based in London. His work involves performance as well as making films, sculpture and collages. He often works with other creative people such as actors, musicians, composers and cinematographers to develop his ideas. His work addresses moments of transformation; disparate words turning into sentences when spoken by a choir; texts becoming music and images changing through collage. Ian often weaves fact and fiction together to create new narratives.

The Floating Cinema is a continuation of UP Projects’ Portavilion programme of temporary pavilion commissions, this time for the waterways of East London. Portavilion 2011 is commissioned by The Olympic Delivery Authority as part of their Arts and Cultural strategy and funded by Arts Council England. It is an important strand of the cultural participation programme in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will form part of the CREATE 11 summer festival.


Banner image credit:

Up Projects and Somewhere, “Floating Cinema”. Image courtesy of the artists.

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