Boathouse Creative Studios


Welcome to the first of my weekly blogs for the new Boathouse website. They will be a mix of updates on what we’re up to, and personal musings on things in general that affect the Boathouse and me as an artist.

So just a little bit of background about how the Boathouse came to be. I was previously CEO/Artistic Director of Arc Theatre which I co-founded in 1984 to make new theatre work. Over the years the company developed greatly, with work that was relevant and powerful, speaking directly to young audiences in schools, clubs and theatres. The over 40  theatre pieces we made during this time invited and provoked dialogue about many difficult and taboo subjects.

In 2013 I made the decision to move away from the company. It was a tough choice to leave behind what I had known and start from scratch again. For many years I had dreamed about setting up a venue that could be home to emerging artists and offer a wide range of opportunities for participation and engagement in the arts with local people. I began to work closely with Steve Drury, Development Director at Rooff Ltd who own the buildings in which we work. I came up with the idea that we might call it The Boathouse, set as it is by the River Roding. So we set up a community interest company and launched the Boathouse in 2014.

The Boathouse is an ‘open’ space. By this I mean a space that offers a blank canvas on which to create exhibitions, theatre, music and events. It can be transformed into pretty much what you like. It is a sanctuary for creativity and concentration. 

Our location is stunning, a hidden gem in Barking set by the river and a great place to get creative!

In order to develop a programme of arts opportunities we also offer our studios for hire for a multitude of purposes and the income from this has enabled us to get the Boathouse on its feet, alongside commissions and funding bids.

As an artist myself, I have also had the opportunity to collaborate across art forms with painters, dancers and musicians. Currently I am working on my own solo piece which will be performed next year at the Boathouse.

We are looking forward to many new opportunities coming up and I hope to see you soon at the Boathouse.

Carole Pluckrose – Artistic Director and Secretary of the Boathouse CIC