An image of paper boats made by Chinese children, on display at Chelmsford Theatres

The Motherships Project
An exchange of friendship with children in Essex and China

The Mothership Project is a collaboration between Essex Book Festival and UK/Chinese charity The Mother’s Bridge of Love: Culture for Children, supported by Colchester Chinese Cultural Society, Essex Children’s University and Chelmsford City Council.

The project launched at Essex Book Festival 2019, with events throughout the festival for visitors to build origami boats, exchange messages of love and friendship, make Mother’s Day cards and learn Chinese calligraphy. We also hosted a special Mothers Day event on the last day of the Festival, to make Chinese paper flowers and talk to Xinran Xue, the initiator of this wonderful and moving project.

At the same time, children in China made and sent over 1,000 paper boats with personal messages inside, which was made into an installation by artist Elain Tribley, exhibited at Chelmsford Theatres from March 2019.

Here are some photo highlights from the project events during Essex Book Festival 2019 (follow link to our Flickr Archive), showing activity in Harwich, Grays, Colchester and Chelmsford:

The Mothership Project
Logo for Mothers Bridge of Love project
logo for Colchester Chinese Cultural Society
Chelmsford City Council logo
Logo for Essex Children's University