Erith Pier art project Changing Sails sponsored by Orbit and Wates Residential

Artist Julia Snowdin has been chosen by public vote to be the first artist to reimagine the unique location of Erith Pier for the inaugural Pier Commission.

The commission is organised by The Exchange and sponsored by Orbit and Wates Residential.

Chosen by public vote, artist Julia Snowdin’s project Changing Sails will celebrate the ever-changing nature and dynamic history of the pier through the installation of decorated sails that will animate the space with the wind and light of the Thames.

The sails will be produced through a series of community workshops that explore the town’s history as pleasure resort and industrial centre, and allow the public to work with the artist to decorate the sails using holes to draw shapes and patterns that will depict Erith’s past and present. The sails will be suspended on the pier to create new spaces for the community to relax and play within. The patterned holes will create light spots on the pier during the day and evening. At night, the sails will be lit with different hues of colour creating new ‘rooms’ in which the community can relax, picnic and unwind.

Congratulations to Julia for being the first artist chosen by the public to install work at our fantastic Erith Pier. What is especially exciting are her plans to involve the local community in creating this original piece. Erith has a fantastic past and an exciting future and we hope that this artwork will set the scene for all the great things happening in the town.”
Cllr Linda Bailey, London Borough of Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth

Julia Snowdin uses textiles to create unexpected and interactive spaces for communities to come together to share experiences and craft new stories. She has created work across the country, including for the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry, the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, and at Art in the Park in Leamington Spa and the Kidderminster Arts Festival.

Having worked in partnership with Wates Residential on the regeneration of Larner Road into the award-winning Erith Park, we understand our role in placemaking and the role our developments can play in regenerating the wider locality and this is why we are sponsoring this fantastic event, celebrating culture and creativity in Erith. We can’t wait to see Julia’s inspired concept transform the Pier.”
Caroline Field, Regeneration Manager at Orbit

We were really impressed with the standard of entries for this Commission and delighted that we could be involved in it with our partners. I’m now really looking forward to Julia’s designs coming to fruition and bringing the Pier back to life.”
Paul Nicholls, Managing Director at Wates Residential South