Artist Julia Snowdin wins inaugural Pier Commission

Artist Julia Snowdin has been chosen by public vote to be the first artist to reimagine the unique location of Erith Pier for the inaugural Pier Commission. Changing Sails will celebrate the ever-changing nature and dynamic history of the pier through the installation of decorated sails that will animate the space with the wind and light of the Thames.

This project is sponsored by Orbit and Wates Residential.


The sails will be produced through a series of community workshops that explore the town’s history as pleasure resort and industrial centre, and allow the public to work with the artist to decorate the sails using holes to draw shapes and patterns that will depict Erith’s past and present. The sails will be suspended on the pier to create new spaces for the community to relax and play within. The patterned holes will create light spots on the pier during the day and evening. At night, the sails will be lit with different hues of colour creating new ‘rooms’ in which the community can relax, picnic and unwind.

Julia Snowdin uses textiles to create unexpected and interactive spaces for communities to come together to share experiences and craft new stories. She has created work across the country, including for the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry, the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, and at Art in the Park in Leamington Spa and the Kidderminster Arts Festival.

How to get involved

This is a collaborative community project. If you are interested in helping Julia with the design and decoration of the sails, please book onto one of the Set Sail! events. More details here.

The artwork will open to the public on 6th September 2017 for three weeks. Alongside the piece will be a series of events and activities that will tie in with the Totally Thames Festival and the Erith Lighthouse project.