Playing with a toy boat in the bathtub as a kid is an activity that has stood the test of time. So, it’s no surprise that media architect Claudio Benghi and artist Gloria Ronchi, of Aether & Hemera, joined forces to develop this awesome take on such a simple concept. Voyage is an extensive journey of illuminated ‘paper boats,’ floating across the surface of London’s Canary Wharf. The artists say that their artistic vision is to “provoke memories, explore aesthetic interactions, and to elicit feelings of connective human experiences in a required-to-participate audience.”
Passers-by can’t help but notice the watery landscape filled with the vibrant rainbow rows, which is unusually organized for a fleet of 300. To master the shape, which is formed out of polypropylene sheets, Benghi and Ronchi planned out the perfect geometry and structure by using special computer software. They maintained an organized installation by connecting the boats, with threads, to the ones nearby, and several threads are also anchored to the riverbed. Finally, each design is weighted so as to not tip over in a blur of sinking ships.
Illuminated by LED lights, the lighting creates an enchanting atmosphere where the artists say everyone is invited to “make the transition from reality to imagination.” The site-specific installation encourages viewers to think back on those bathtub days when pirates roamed the soapy seas and to experience the freedom of traveling anywhere their imaginatiosn will take them.