A SPECIAL sculpture is set to travel by boat to the historic salt centre of Droitwich Spa to celebrate the town’s unique place in history.
Artist Katy Beinart will make an historic boat trip on the waterways on May 4 from Gloucester Docks to Droitwich, to celebrate the salt trade in Worcestershire which dates back more than 2,000 years.
Katy will travel on Scorpio, a heritage working boat, and will arrive at Droitwich’s Vines Park at 11am on May 6, during the St Richard’s Canal Festival, carrying a sculpture based on the town’s old salt works factories.
The boat’s salt cargo will be unloaded and poured into the salt pavilion, along with locally produced salt, in a special ceremony at 12pm attended by the Mayor of Droitwich.
Her innovative art work, entitled Saltways, takes inspiration from the town of Droitwich’s heyday as an international centre for salt production, when local waterways were used to export hugely valuable salt around the world.
The pavilion structure will then be filled with salt from around the world, including from Bolivia, Turkey and South Africa, among others, as well as that which is locally produced at Churchfield Saltworks.
Katy’s salt pavilion will be on display at the Salt Museum in Droitwich from May until September before departing on board a canal boat as part of Salt Fest on September 8.
Katy said: “Saltways both celebrates the past and asks what the future of salt will be in Droitwich.
“The sculpture contains the past of Droitwich in its form but also the future as an important part of a network of contemporary salt manufacturers.
“In this way Saltways seeks to present a future vision of the town which inspires and ignites other forms of exchange, and value.”
The work is part of The Ring, run by the Canal and River Trust, an arts programme and cultural first for Worcestershire that celebrates the region’s canals and rivers.
Tim Eastop, executive producer of the Canal and River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways programme says: “Saltways promises to be a poignant and exciting spectacle recreating a waterway route that was travelled for thousands of years.
“The artwork will remind people that waterways are historic places that inspire creative insights about their past, as well as offering intriguing glimpses into their future as places of new culture and wellbeing.
“Katy’s work promises to bring to life the importance of the community’s past stewardship of salt and their contribution to the world.
Visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/waterway-arts for more information about the Canal and River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways programme.