Tucked into the estuary of the River Adur in the coastal town of Shoreham-on-Sea in Sussex, England is a row of houseboats in dazzlingly slapdash designs and bustling with the creative energy of its residents. One such person is Hamish McKenzie, an older man with swirls of gray hair shaved into his short beard and a laid-back attitude that comes from spending most of his days living inside of a docked boat. McKenzie owns seven of the uniquely designed vessels that line the riverbank, which include a renovated boat ambulance topped with a black and white checkered public bus and an airplane nose that caps off the bow.
McKenzie explains to Great Big Story that he had been searching for a nose cone for quite some time, and finally ran across one in a farmyard down the way from his houseboats. This ingenuity speaks to the freedom McKenzie and the other owners have while crafting their homes, which include microwaves as mailboxes and giant tractor wheels as windows. “I can safely say that there is no two identical,” explains McKenzie. “To a large degree, they exhibit the character of the people who live on them.”
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You'll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!