Crossings is a new installation artwork being created by Luke Jerram in collaboration with BBC Radio4 producer Julian May, which has been commissioned by Compton Verney for presentation this summer, 19 July – 4 September 2022.

The installation will consist of 10 rowing boats on the lake at Compton Verney. Each of the boats will play include audio installations of stories submitted by participants from around the world. In choosing a boat and rowing out into the lake for 30 minutes you will be taken on an audio journey, transported to another life and circumstance. The live sounds of the rowing boat will blend with the recorded audio, to help create a truly engaging and immersive experience.

After Compton Verney, we hope the artwork will tour to other venues to be presented in lakes, canals and docklands across the UK.

Symbolism of boats

Boats can be a form of transport, a vehicle to enable work, a method of escape, a tool of employment. They are a way of connecting people and places.  They can simply be an object of leisure. Boats are symbolic of journeying into the unknown and of the journey of life.

We need your stories!

We are looking for fascinating and extraordinary true stories from the UK and around the world involving boats, which we can record with you and make into a sound recording for this new artwork. Your story will be incorporated into this new artwork but may also feature on local and national radio as well. Submit your story

With Thanks
Funding for this artwork has come from the Arts Council of England and Compton Verney.


Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.

James Taylor

We are imprisoned in the realm of life, like a sailor on his tiny boat, on an infinite ocean.

Anna Freud

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