Online art auction launched in aid of Ramsgate Arts Barge project

Kevin O’Connor and Natasha De Samarkandi plan to create the Ramsgate Arts Barge

An online Christmas art auction is taking place as part of a fundraiser to  turn a 130-year-old Dutch barge in Ramsgate harbour into a waterfront community arts hub.

The aim is to complete works to create an arts and performance space, with theatre, films, exhibitions, workshops and more aboard the Vriendschap (Friendship) barge by September 2021 – in time for Ramsgate’s 200th year celebrations of being the UK’s sole Royal Harbour, granted by King George IV in 1821.

The social-enterprise ‘not-for-profit’ Ramsgate Arts Barge community project is headed up by directors and town residents Kevin O’Connor and Natasha De Samarkandi.

The Ramsgate Arts Barge Photo Mark Stanford

Ramsgate architects Del Renzio & Del Renzio is providing concept design assistance for the renovation and refurbishment.

The project and auction has received the backing from some 40 artists, including Royal Academician Bob and Roberta Smith. Artists from further afield have also donated art pieces, including the TATE exhibited artist Bruce McLean, with a limited edition 1971 print of ‘Pose Work for Plinths’ available in the auction.

Bruce McLean Lithograph, 1971

The Ramsgate Arts Barge project has already attracted more than 100 volunteers to be a part of repairing, renovating and refurbishing the 51-metre, barge ‘Vriendschap’ into the Ramsgate Arts Barge.

The Ramsgate Arts Barge Christmas Art Auction features artists:

Bruce McLean – Bob and Roberta Smith – Kavel Rafferty – Sophia Schorr-Kon – Brendan Neiland – Stephen Brandes – Bronwen Ackhurst Malcolm – Hedley Roberts – Vivienne Yankah – Jamie Beeden – Roy Palmer – Nadine Shah – Jessica Voorsanger – Christopher Tipping – Ruth E Rollason – Peter Campbell Saunders – Lucy Somers – Zuza Czarniavska – Hannah Battershell – Liz Brewerton – Alan Byrne – Tony Common – Charlie Evaristo-Boyce – Anji Richards – Jordan Gray – Sadie Hennessy – Joe Hesketh – Alice Herrick – Suzanne Holtom – Alison Jones – Stephen Stephenson – Simone Swaine – Lucy Troubridge – Karen Vost – Meg Watson – Don Smith – Sam McKechnie – Vicki Salmi – Margo in Margate – Rory Strudwick – The Subversive Stitcher – Sam Dodson – Clive Jennings – Don Grant – Shelly Goldsmith – Merlin Ramos

All funds raised from Ramsgate Arts Barge Christmas Art Auction, will go towards the current crowdfunder campaign.

The art auction runs online until Sunday, December 13 via

To support the Ramsgate Arts Barge Crowdfund Campaign, visit: