North East Wales

Dee Estuary arts project dug out canoe ready to launch

Canoe being dug out
Image caption A similar canoe built by chainsaw sculptor Clinton Chaloner

A canoe hollowed out from a tree trunk created by a chainsaw sculptor, local fishermen and Dee Estuary visitors is to have its official launch.

The dug out canoe project is part an Art in Nature scheme during a residency on the coastline by Clinton Chaloner.

The four-person canoe will be paddled along the estuary from Connah's Quay Docks on Monday evening.

It is co-funded by the Arts Council of Wales and aims to reflect the area's historic shipbuilding tradition.

Mr Chaloner, who creates large wooden carved sculptures, has been artist in residence at locations along the coastline of the Dee estuary during May, June and July.

"Along the estuary in Flintshire there's a history of boatmaking and shipbuilding - the industry died out in the early 20th Century," said Gwenno Jones, Flintshire council's arts, culture and events manager.

"As Clinton was making wooden waymarkers for a coastal path alongside the estuary it seemed like an apt idea to build a wooden vessel - and given the timescale and resources available it turned out to be a canoe."

Its launch at 19:00 BST will coincide with the final week of Mr Chaloner's residency.

An exhibition showing a record of the residency will be held at Wepre Park Visitor Centre towards the end of August 2011.

Flintshire's year-long Art in Nature project, looking at Talacre Beach and the Dee Estuary, also featured residencies by artists Becky Churchill and Jan Gardner.

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