Moored at the new Sant’Elena dock, just a 15-minute walk from the Venice Biennale Gardens, Lycian Princess is the perfect place to make your creative story known through the language of the sea. Every month, from May to October, I interview the most curious protagonists of the cultural scene on board, organizing traveling events and exhibitions. Each journey is told through a short film.
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At the basis of my journey, the awareness of how much culture needs, especially in this delicate historical moment, to reconnect with people thanks to a simpler, more spontaneous way of communicating, but above all tailored to the listener.
Baptized by Vogue magazine as the “first floating gallery in Italy”, Lycian Princess is a beautiful thirty-metre wooden Turkish boat with two masts, which arrived in Venice in September 2018 thanks to the will of the owner Marina Rossi and her children Enrico and Camilla. Their desire is to offer travelers from all over the world a space where they can stay directly on the water, enjoying the magic of the Venetian lagoon. The spaces of their floating home are exceptional: the stern of the boat opens into a spectacular lounge that seems to embrace you thanks to its elegant seven-metre sofa and its welcoming lounge area, where suggestive lunches and dinners at sea are often organised. The large white deckhouse, under the sail of the boat, serves as a raised exhibition area and culminates, in the bow, with a real sitting room reserved for those seeking a little privacy. Six welcoming cabins, all with private bathrooms, guarantee overnight stays for up to twelve guests, while the maximum capacity in the common areas during navigation is thirty people. The owner lives on board almost every month of the year and is supported by a small crew that is always available for her guests. Finally, mooring in the private port of Marina Sant’Elena guarantees the boat a suggestive position with a breathtaking view not only of the Lido of Venice but also of the Certosa Island.
In May 2022, thanks to the support of this Venetian family, Lycian Princess becomes the home of my traveling art project “Artista a Bordo”, offering artists from all over the world the opportunity to transform their creations into unforgettable experiences to live in the middle of the sea. A format that aims to spread culture in an original way by exploiting the most identifying element of Venice, i.e. water, as a vehicle for creative stories. A constantly moving space capable not only of reinterpreting the way in which we usually enjoy a work of art, but of offering the artists themselves a new working language and a different perception of their roles as creators: rising to on board they decline their vision in a real journey to which the public responds, like a real crew, experiencing the spaces of the boat and conversing with the work. Generating emotions and a sense of belonging to the story I tell is the mission of Artista a Bordo. A challenge that is not only conceptual but also practical because working at sea forces us to deal with new materials, different responses from the surrounding environment and the intimacy of a space that is functional to the needs of navigation.
I am proud of a project which, since its inception, has never weighed directly on the finances of the artists but has always known how to find full sustainability in the planning of targeted experiences to offer to visitors.
THE ORIGINS OF THE PROJECT
My first artist residency experiment at sea dates back to 2016 when, thanks to the support of my family, I fulfilled a secret dream by moving to live in Venice aboard Yacht Bert, a beautiful 33-metre round stern shuttle, moored in the port private of Sant’Elena. An extraordinary experience that lasted two years during which, under the Maltese flag, I not only met people from all over the world but also hosted international artists who, during the Biennale and the Film Festival, stayed on board taking advantage of the large spaces of the yacht as a place of work and meeting place. Thanks to some of these collaborations, Yacht Bert soon became the first floating gallery experiment in Italy: the idea of offering, just a 15-minute walk from the headquarters of the Venice Art Biennale, experiences to be enjoyed at sea in contact with works and artists it not only aroused a lot of curiosity in tourists but also guaranteed the regular guests of the yacht an immersive stay with a unique flavor. Numerous people habitually participated in the work in progress of the guest artists on the Bert and the bonds and friendships that arose from those encounters were special.
One of these, I would say the most precious, with Marina Rossi. Yacht Bert belonged to her family in the 60s and her enthusiasm in rediscovering after many years, right on board that memory, a completely new project for her hometown made it possible to lay the foundations for a common vision in the same format .
Today Artista a Bordo lives thanks to the precious support of this adventurous Venetian family, with whom I share the most beautiful adventures and transform them into unforgettable experiences.
You are welcome aboard!
You can follow all the interviews by @riccardobenedini_
Artista a Bordo, a residence for creatives travelling in the Mediterranean seas