Speedwell

Speedwell was a large-scale art installation that transformed the Mount Batten Breakwater in Plymouth into a public forum for discussion and debate about the impact and legacy of the Mayflower's journey, colonialism and the ecological state of our planet during the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

Created by local artist collective Still/Moving, 'Speedwell' was funded by Arts Council England and Plymouth Culture as part of Mayflower 400.

Measuring 63m long and 6m high, 'Speedwell' used illuminated signage comprising 3,723 LED lights to invite viewers to ask complex questions about themselves, the damaged planet and the legacy of the pivotal journeys made by the Mayflower and its companion ship the Speedwell.

It offered multiple readings; constantly shifting between words that are lit up and questioning the historic conceit that there ever was a 'New World'. The artwork remained illuminated through September, October and November 2020.

  • Speedwell lights switched off to mark National Day of Mourning

    Created by local artist collective Still/Moving, 'Speedwell' lit up Mount Batten Pier in Plymouth UK from September 2020.

    On Thursday, 26 November, the words 'NO NEW WORLDS' shone out until dusk, when the artwork was switched off for the remaining duration of its installation (until Sunday 29 November) as part of the US National Day of Mourning.

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  • Read: Speedwell is launched

    Read the story of Speedwell as it launched in Plymouth UK.

    The installation was inspired by the events of 1620 when passengers on board the Mayflower set sail to settle in what they called the 'New World', a world already home to indigenous people.

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  • Watch: Re-informed with Still/Moving

    We speak to the team behind Speedwell this this Re-informed interview.

    The project's creators were local art collective Still/Moving, a community interest company who were inspired by the events of 1620, when passengers on board the Mayflower set sail to settle in what they called the 'New World', a world already home to indigenous people.

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  • Event: Speedwell

    Speedwell was a large-scale art installation that transformed the Mount Batten Breakwater in Plymouth into a public forum for discussion and debate about the impact and legacy of the Mayflower's journey, colonialism and the ecological state of our planet during the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

    Created by local artist collective Still/Moving, 'Speedwell' was funded by Arts Council England and Plymouth Culture as part of Mayflower 400.

    More info
    Read more
  • Watch: Re-informed: Speedwell

    For this Re-informed video we return to Speedwell, the large-scale art installation that transformed the Mount Batten Breakwater in Plymouth UK.

    Here, the artists who created the installation respond to some of the public’s thoughts and feedback to the artwork and we speak to the team of volunteer Mayflower Makers who canvassed public opinion - as well as getting their thoughts on what Speedwell represents.

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  • Read: 'In Conversation' with Still/Moving

    Throughout the duration of Speedwell's installation in Plymouth, a series of 'In Conversation' talks were held between Still/Moving and invited speakers to discuss some of the themes raised by the project.

    Speedwell transformed the Mount Batten Breakwater in Plymouth into a public forum for discussion and debate about the impact and legacy of the Mayflower's journey, colonialism and the ecological state of our planet during the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

    More info
    Read more
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