A Crossing Bell was an installation for the Estuary Festival 2016 Points of Departure exhibition. Originally commissioned as a response to the Gravesend-Tilbury foot ferry, the work was eventually located at the point where passengers are about to join the boat or have just arrived from it, the bell hanging in a structure designed to echo elements of Essex coastal architecture and constructed from planks that once were part of Southend Pier.
Photos: Benedict Johnson benedictjohnson.com
From the exhibition interpretation text: "Installed near the Tilbury ferry within a custom-built wooden shelter that offers views over the wide river, the engraved bell is there to be rung by passengers and festival-goers as they offer their prayers for a crossing (their own or someone else’s, a friend’s or a stranger’s, a crossing here at the Thames or one that lies further afield). The aspiration is that the bell transform the short journey on the openness of the swift-flowing river and suggest other crossings, other times and other places; its un-amplified peals finding their place amongst engine noise, the cries of white feathered gulls, voices and the soundings of the Thames itself".