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Olivia Parkes - The old lady of the sea

I'm delighted to have been asked to consult and edit on this fascinating Arts Council funded project run by talented artists Teresa Grimaldi and Sarah Vardy. 

I love a strange tale, and I've always been intrigued with the story of Olivia Parkes. A defiant old lady, who refused to leave the dilapidated boat shed she called home, just along here from Ventnor beach. She was also known as 'Britannia', and my house a few yards from her structure shares the same name. I think it was the photo (left) which captured my imagination, a frail, unkempt figure with wild white hair, precariously balanced outside her crumbling home. 


It's a story which resonates with so many, not only as a woman who chose to live on her own terms, but also opens the discussion on how eccentric women have been treated through history. 

Teresa and Sarah have constructed a replica model of her boathouse, and using their stop animation we have edited a short film to be projected inside the installation.

Showing at Ventnor Fringe Tues 25th - Sun 30th 2pm -7pm daily in La Falaise, Ventnor (in the shelter opposite where she lived). FREE ENTRY.

Read more on the project at:


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