Bonnie Boat maps British shoreline in sound

Bonnie Boat maps British shoreline in sound

Artists Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich spent six weeks collecting local sounds and stories, which they then broadcast for 24 hours from their glittering yacht, The Celeste, off the Scottish island’s coast.

Islanders were encouraged to pick up portable radios from the harbour at Portree and walk Skye’s picturesque coastal trails while listening to the broadcast, in an immersive journey through the island’s invisible collective unconscious and the physical landscape.

Around 130 local people contributed to the project, including writers, academics, musicians, skippers and fishermen to create a multi-layered soundscape that reflects the culture and history of the island in a mix of ambient sound, spoken word and specially crafted music. The artists worked collaboratively with local poet Maoilios Caimbeul to provide a poetic narrative that runs through the broadcast.

The radio station, Celestial Radio, was the centrepiece of an arts project by Atlas arts organisation, called Bonnie Boat (Bàta Brèagha in Gaellic), which included a whole day of events on Skye.

Artist Zoe Walker said: “Celestial Radio is an ongoing project. We sail to different locations and make a site-specific sound work in each place. The idea behind the boat is that it echoes early pirate radio. We’re looking to rekindle the spirit of people who try to question society and change things.

“It’s about visionary thinking. We want to encourage people to listen to the broadcast while walking in the landscape and thinking about the ideas. Ultimately we would like to map the entire coastline of the UK.”

The boat has made similar voyages in Newcastle, Gateshead, Whitstable and Thessalonika in Greece.

The broadcast will be made available as a podcast for download. To find out more, visit


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