Great Places
Watertight Words


FlipSide is delighted to be part of the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Great Places scheme.

Great Places is funded by the Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England, supported by Historic England; the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Great Places scheme is one of only 16 pilot projects across the UK.

The Great Places scheme will enable cultural and heritage organistaions to make a step-change in how they work together with other organisations in other sectors to ensure that arts, culture and heritage contribute more to meeting local social and economic objectives.

Watertight Words

Watertight Words is a cultural animation project that links to Lowestoft’s large scale, flood risk management programme.  Watertight Words will create a series of striking typographic installations in various locations around the town during the sea wall's construction and a typographic design, derived from the project, will be engraved in a glass section of the completed sea defence wall.

The project is working with Lowestoft Rising and the Cultural Education Partnership, where in February and March through our workshops we engaged with more than 1000 young people across Lowestoft primary and secondary schools with tremendous feedback.

During May 2018 we took our Watertight Words workshops to the wider community of Lowestoft.  Phased community engagement involved the production of audio visual materials that was used in workshops to explore, through language and poetry, people’s responses to the sea, its history of flooding and what the building of this extensive new flood wall will mean - for the town’s future resilience as a safe and sustainable environment in which to live and work.   

What happens next?

From these workshops text created by the children and the community, will be used in the imaginative and thought provoking art installation, which will wrap around the town in key locations, bringing colour, animation and inventiveness into the public realm, and importantly connecting the town’s community to the project in a very tangible way.  In addition, pop-up displays of typographic artwork created during the project will also be shown at local civic events such as the Lowestoft Summer Festival and also in the Library, ensuring that the project is phased throughout the sea defence wall construction. 

Through grass roots community activities this project will create a giant artwork that links to an important infrastructure project for the whole town.  It will raise the profile and value of art and culture and show how it is relevant to contemporary issues and how it can enhance the environment.  It will contribute to greater community cohesion and ownership of the town.  The legacy engraving in the completed sea defence wall will be a lasting cultural legacy for Lowestoft, connecting it to a ‘watertight’ future for the next one hundred years! 

Practioners and Artists

The project will work with poet Dean Parkin and graphic designer and lettering expert Gary Breeze to use the output of the community engagement project to firstly create phased, temporary, typographic installations around the town during the period that the sea wall is being constructed and also an engraving in the glass section of the new sea wall, that draws on the project’s output and is designed by Gary Breeze, as a lasting legacy.

In addition, FlipSide's resident arts practioner, Sue Brinkhurst, will assist in the delivery of the community engagement. 

Gary Breeze:

Gary is an East Anglian artist with a national reputation and a track record of working on major public art commissions.  Most recently winning a Gold medal at the Chelsea Flower show for his Broadland Boatbuilder’s Garden, Gary is an expert letter cutter, typographer and designer whose work also includes  the new Richard III tomb at Leicester Cathedral, commemorative stamps and the Bali Bombing Memorial in central London.  Trained as graphic designer, Gary will design the temporary typographic installation and the legacy engraving in the sea defence wall.

Dean Parkin:

Dean is a poet and workshop leader. He left school at the age of sixteen to work at a printer’s and then in a bookshop. In the 1990s he was an independent publisher of local history books, producing, co-writing and editing over forty titles. From 2000 to 2015 he worked for The Poetry Trust - latterly as Creative Director. 

A collection for children, The Bubble Wrap, was published in October 2017 by the new imprint, Small Donkey. This followed The Swan Machine (The Rialto) Dean's first full collection which was published in 2016.  In 2014-15 he created and delivered the Poem for Suffolk project which resulted in films, a book and touring show. He's also created Video Poems for a Cambridge history group - Mill Road of the Mind (2015), St Edmundsbury Cathedral - Each & Every Footstep (2013) - and Beccles Is, Beccles Was,  Beccles Says during a residency for the Beccles Festival (2012).

An experienced performer, Dean hosted the Short Cuts Cabaret, one of many collaborations with with jazz pianist Maurice Horhut. He was poet-in-residence on the Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Norfolk (2007-10) and his one man show, 'Dean's Dad's Ducks', premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010. He's run workshops for every age group – from primary school children to the over nineties. He's given many readings across the UK and in the US, including StAnza Poetry Festival, the Dodge Poetry Festival, Poetry at Georgia Tech (Atlanta) and Cambridge WordFest. 

Dean is the first poet to appear on BBC1 reading a poem on the loo.