Home Events - Black History Month - North Somerset Weston Arts + Health Weekender: Crossings – From Barbados to Bristol


Marine Lake
Knightstone Road, WSM BS23 2BE


Oct 01 2023


11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Weston Arts + Health Weekender: Crossings – From Barbados to Bristol

Crossings is a new installation created by multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram and BBC Radio 4 producer Julian May, which was commissioned by Compton Verney for its first presentation during summer 2022.

Part art installation and visitor attraction, Crossings consists of brightly decorated rowing boats, each fitted with speakers that play recorded audio of stories from around the world. In choosing a story and rowing onto the lake, participants are taken on an audio journey, transported to another life and circumstance as they listen to stories about people’s different life experiences and personal testimonies – sometimes less than idyllic but also exhilarating, fascinating, life enhancing, life-changing and even life-saving.

Each boat trip is designed to last around 30 minutes with the real-time sounds and experience of rowing blending evocatively with the recordings.

For the artist Luke Jerram, boats are a way of connecting people and places and can be objects of pleasure, while at the same time representing journeys into the unknown.

To pay tribute to the interlinking journeys of Windrush and NHS, both reaching a milestone 75 this year, an exciting new story commission has been added to the collection on 1 October which also marks the start of Black History Month.

Story 11: From Barbados to Bristol, May Tanner’s journey with the NHS 

Marking the 75th anniversary year of the NHS and of Windrush, this is the story of May Tanner who became the first black ward sister at Bristol Royal Infirmary. Hear how May, now 91, set sail to England from Barbados in 1956, responding to the call to help re-build a country whose ‘mother’ language, traditions and songs had filled her school days. This story was commissioned by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and Super Culture.

Tickets: Pay-What-You-Decide (Minimum £3 per boat).


The event is finished.