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Graveyard of Lost Species – Call for local knowledge!

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An ambitious collaborative project and public monument by artists YoHa and Critical Art Ensemble in partnership with The Arts Catalyst.

Graveyard of Lost Species involves recording ‘species’ from wildlife, marine creatures, livelihoods, fishing methods, landmarks and local dialects that once flourished in the Estuary and are now disappearing. The artists are leading a set of enquiries with people in Leigh-on-Sea and Southend to gather local knowledge of and expertise about ‘lost species’.

From this research, the artists will create a public monument, using a local boat wreck, the ‘Souvenir’ – a 40ft 12 ton Thames bawley, rescued from the estuary mud. This summer, the boat will be cleaned and re-configured, whilst sited in a prominent public setting on Belton Way, the main thorougfare between Leigh-on-Sea station and the old town.

Working with local craftsmans, the artists will laser cut the lost species into the vessel’s surface. Once the text has been cut into the boat’s surface and interior, she will be sailed back onto the marshes as a permanent monument.

The project is intended to act as a monument of Leigh’s past and future, as well as to uncover and highlight local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames estuary.

A call out to local people of Leigh-on-Sea and Southend

We are seeking stories and knowledge of Leigh-on-Sea and Southend’s lost history, culture, species, ingredients and ways of life. The artwork is dedicated to the people of Leigh and Southend and they are instrumental in how the artwork will be developed. The words engraved onto it will be directly informed by local people. Updates will be listed shortly.

Please contact us for more information if you would like to get involved and speak with one of our local researchers:
[email protected]

You can also visit YoHa’s Wrecked website for updates and information:

The wreck is currently being cleaned and worked on at Belton Way, Leigh-on-Sea in Southend. We welcome visitors and passers by to ask questions and get involved.


Graveyard of Lost Species is part of ‘Wrecked on The Inter-tidal Zone’, an art and citizen science project that will uncover and highlight local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames estuary. Artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, with The Arts Catalyst, are collaborating with local people in Southend and Leigh-on-Sea.


Graveyard of Lost Species is led by artist group YoHa, Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji, who have worked together since 1994 and are local Leigh-on-Sea residents. YoHa’s polemical vision and technical tinkering has powered several celebrated collaborations, establishing an international reputation for pioneering critical art and socially engaged projects. Harwood and Yokokoji co-founded the pioneering artists’ group Mongrel (1996-2007) and established the MediaShed, a free-media lab (2005-2008), which reached international fame through its film ‘Duallists’ shown at over 30 film festivals around the world.

Critical Art Ensemble will undertake a residency in Leigh-on-Sea, building on research from two previous visits, working alongside Yoha on Lost Species. Since 1987, Critical Art Ensemble has explored the intersections between art, critical theory and political activism. Projects have included recreating historical bio-warfare experiments off the coast of Scotland; setting up a lab in a gallery to reverse engineer genetically modified seeds; and planting endangered flowers on public lands and urban social space threatened by property developers.



Open Jamming: Leigh-on-Sea Maritime Festival. Come one, come all!
Sunday 2 August 2015, 11am – 5pm
Location: Victoria Wharf, Leigh-on-Sea, Southend
Join local artists Fran Gallardo and YoHa at Leigh-on-Sea’s annual Maritime Festival. You will find us somewhere among the sea shanties and Maldon oysters. We encourage you to bring berries and edible flowers samples from your garden, park or elsewhere to create an ‘Open Jamming’. Please record the postcode of sample location as well. We will prepare jam, cordials and other seasonal cocktails on which you can choose from where berries have the sweetest earthy taste, which elderberries tickle your tongue the most, and create collective jam and cordials!
PS: We would love to hear about your recipes using local ingredients

Fluids and Mud Science (citizen science workshop 1)

Saturday 15 August, 10am – 5pm Meeting Point: Fishermen’s Chapel, New Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Book on [email protected]
Investigate Two Tree Island in this day workshop led by Andy Freeman with Two Tree scientific expert Dr Mark Scrimshaw (Reader in Environmental Chemistry at Brunel University), to explore the use of scientific testing outdoors. Participants will learn about and make observations of a range of gases and contaminants found in the air and water in the Thames estuary using testing kits. Observations will be geotagged using mobile phones and then uploaded to a custom digital map of the locality and shared online.

Wildlife and Not So Wild Life (citizen science workshop 2)
Saturday 22 August 10am – 5pm Meeting Point: Fishermen’s Chapel, New Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Book on [email protected]
Andy Freeman and Mark Scrimshaw with local reserves manager Marc Outen (Essex Wildlife Trust) lead this workshop, which will bring together wildlife spotting, digital technologies and scientific testing of the elements. Get to know your fellow organisms, animals and local inhabitants of this complex nature reserve, including the people and industries that surround it.

Public Tasting: Explore your Tongue
Sunday 30 August 2015 (time to be confirmed depending on the tide)
Location: Belton Way Beach, Leigh-on-Sea. Booking not required
Fran Gallardo will lead an open air cooking experiment for using local ingredients. Fran will present intriguing recipes that represent and re-imagine webs of connections between gastronomy and ecology within many environments: from human microbiomes, eels, fungi, geese, ships, landfills and human-made islands. Come and taste, smell and dive into the sensorial experience of the estuary and all its complex delicacies!

Leigh Regatta: Chachacha with Local Ingredients
Sunday 20 September 2015
 Location: Leigh-on-Sea (exact location announced soon)
Booking not required
Before Autumn sets in, Fran Gallardo will present one more chance for a tongue first exploration. Come and join us for a sensory undressing of the estuary.

This project is supported by The Arts Council England and The Arts Catalyst. Many thanks to Leigh Town Council, Southend Borough Council, Metal (Southend) and Belton Way Small Craft Club with advice from Natural England and Essex Wildlife Trust.