Folk Float has been launched in Egremont, Cumbria

A mobile archive designed by public works and commissioned by
Grizedale Arts for Creative Egremont.

The Folk Float Launches
This week the Folk Float took to the streets of the West Cumbrian town of Egremont. A milk float has been adapted to host and tour this new mobile archive of diverse local memorabilia. At the heart of the collection are items from the Crab Fair Archive Committee, a group set up to document the town's iconic annual celebration, the Crab Fair, in which famous folk events like climbing the 'Greasy Pole' and the 'World Gurning Championship' take place. However, the Float also invites anyone to bring along pictures, stories or souvenirs relating to the town of Egremont, to be included in the Folk Float's evolving display. In addition to being an exhibition on wheels, the Folk Float is open to everybody as a place to meet and talk. Over the coming 6 weeks tour it will build up a portrait of Egremont today as well as the Egremont of the past.

Donations can include anything from a family portrait, a CD of local music, a home-grown vegetable, a winning lottery ticket, or the latest Egremont joke: On its first outing donations included a photo of a prize pet lurcher, a giant courgette and a boxing trophy.

The larger ambition of the Folk Float is to develop and extend a grass-roots interest in local heritage and to support proposals for a permanent community archive in the town. The Folk Float is vital in informing this new type of local museum, and aims to become a critical tool in generating its remit. The direct engagement of the Folk Float with its audience builds up a unique understanding of how a future museum can manifest itself both physically and as an activity.

The Folk Float is a Creative Egremont initiative curated by Grizedale Arts and Karen Guthrie. Artists / architects public works were commissioned to create the mobile museum and archive.

Folk Float from Afar
A website accompanies the Folk Float, featuring a mobile phone blog. Pictures of exhibits and participants are immediately posted live online, straight from the Folk Float phone from wherever it is roaming. You're also invited to play 'Fantasy Folk Float' from the website - just email a picture of something that's significant to you and we'll post it online.

Click file to download press release: ffloat_pressrelease.doc