An 18-metre ship handcrafted by Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov will set sail through London next month as part of the capital’s Totally Thames festival.
The Ship of Tolerance will fly silk sails decorated by children from 40 London primary schools, the capital’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, and from refugee centres in Birmingham, Leeds, Peterborough, and Calais.
Both artists hope that the boat will educate and inspire young people to create a kinder world through the universal language of art. “London is a beacon of inclusiveness and acceptance, so there really is no better place to display The Ship of Tolerance,” says Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor of Culture and Creative Industries. “The project is a wonderful example of the power of art to unite communities and inspire young people.”
First launched in Egypt in 2005, The Ship of Tolerance has since sailed in cities across the world, taking to the waves in Venice, Havana, Moscow, New York, and Rome. The project was awarded the prestigious Cartier Prize for the Best Art Project of the Year in 2010.
It will be moored at The Royal Docks in London until the end of the month, when it will appear outside the capital’s Tate Modern from 4 September to 6 October.
World-renowned for their large-scale installations, the Kabakovs have been leading figures of the Russian art movement since the 1980s. A retrospective of their work was held at Tate Modern in 2018.