The tenth anniversary of the Morecambe Bay cocklers tragedy will be commemorated by More Music with an event on Morecambe's North Beach by the clock tower on 4 February from 5pm until 8pm. There will be a small decorated tented village with food and hot drinks, lanterns to decorate, a sculptural bonfire, music and singing.
On the night of 5 February 2004, 23 migrant workers from China drowned as they gathered cockles from the sands of Morecambe Bay on the coast of North-west England. There have been many responses to the event by the public, specific communities, artists and musicians. More Music started working with the local Chinese community in 2005, created The Long Walk, a large scale performance featuring music and stories created in response to this tragic event in 2007 and has since developed a Chinese music orchestra. This has then led to 6 years of projects in Southern China and Hong Kong.
'Sigh of the Sea' is being produced by Peter Moser, Artistic Director of More Music working with Hong Kong theatre maker and performer, Eric Ng and Ewa Witaszek, Curator from DART. More Music is very pleased to able to show the remarkable installation made by Cumbrian ceramic artists Victoria Eden. This piece - called "On the night of February 5th" consists of 23 ceramic forms each constructed from red earthenware clay moulded on to individual plaster casts taken from the ripples and depressions in the sands of Morecambe Bay. Each piece represents one of the lost Chinese cockle pickers and uses screenprinted quotations from press reports to highlight the issues of migration, loss and modern slavery. Taiwanese artist and calligrapher Chun-Chao Chiu added the individual names of the victims.
The bonfire will be made in the shape of a boat, using old furniture to build a structure to burn and send wishes and thoughts out on the tide.
Support is being gathered from amongst others IFCA (Inland Fisheries Conservation Association) and food will be provided by the Lancaster and `Morecambe Bay Chinese Community association and the Hua Xian Chinese Society.
Please join More Music to send your wishes and thoughts out on the tide and in the wind.
"The moon laughs the clouds cry
And a seagull screams at the night's sky
And the sad sea sighs - goodbye"
Lemn Sissay - The Long Walk (written about the Morecambe cockle pickers)