J D Swann
Part of Explore Thamesmead, taking place on Sat 29 and Sun 30 May.
Calum F Kerr is an artist currently based in Thamesmead; his ideas are expressed through performance, sculpture, film and sound. His projects develop in locations imbued with hidden histories and the mysteries revealed in nature. Calum’s work has social participation and research as its core and can be encountered at building sites; gardens; market stalls; mountains and shorelines. He inhabits characters such as the ornithological investigator J D Swann. J D Swann’s Thamesmead’s Best Beaks project was featured in Stephen Turner’s Exbury Egg and the Thamesmead Festival in 2019. In 2020/21 he received a Time Space Money bursary with [an] and Arts Council England to develop Thamesmead’s Best Beaks as an online radio series with RTM (Radio Thamesmead). In 2021 he is devising interventions and guided walks for InspiralLondon’s Hydro-city programme.
For Estuary 2021, J D Swann will host a guided walk:-
Reclaim the Marshes
Sat 29 May and Sun 30 May
Gathering at Lakeside Centre from 1.30pm
Walk starts 2pm until 4pm (approx)
Length: 3.5 miles
Maximum participants per walk 28 (current government guidelines from 17 May)
Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult
J D Swann, ornithological investigator will conduct a guided walk that begins and ends at the Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead. The route is a loop that travels around Southmere Lake, across the beautiful Crossness Southern Marshes, into Crossness Nature Reserve, onto the Thames path past Crossness Sewage Works and back through Old Thamesmead Golf course and the Ridgeway. Whilst walking and at stopping points J D Swann will discuss the ecology of the Thamesmead / Erith marshes, the challenges of land ownership and species survival in these local nature reserves. The walk will also emphasise observation of wildlife, and there will be an opportunity for the group to enter the Crossness Marshes protected area. The walk will encounter grazing marsh, reedbeds, open water, scrubland, examples of ‘mosaic habitat’. Many species of birds, invertebrates, mammals and plants are seen at the marshes: including Barn Owl; Reed Warbler; Lapwing; Southern Migrant Hawker Dragonfly and Water Vole. Adjoining the reserve, Cory Riverside Energy has planning permission accepted in April 2020 by the Secretary of State to build another waste incineration energy facility next to their present building. The development is contested by the managers of the nature reserve (Thames Water) and the local users as it threatens this valuable habitat. What does the future look like for the marshes?
A printed map of the route annotated by J D Swann will be available to those participating in the walk.
Walk Practicalities: Mainly flat terrain on grass or paths, some stony ground and inclines, at one point the walk crosses safely the Eastern Way dual carriageway. As marshland there are areas that can be muddy after rain, appropriate clothing and waterproof footwear is advised. Binoculars and recording devices are encouraged. Café with WC at the Lakeside Centre, pending government guidelines.
J D Swann appears courtesy of Calum F Kerr
Calum has also been Brian Guest from S.P.A.R, the Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble, Sirius the Hyper-intelligent Sheep Dog, a Ghostly White Whale that manifest along the Thames in Greenwich, Woolwich and Gravesend, and Maurice the last Dodo. Recent projects include Ideas Travel Faster Than Light, Mecklenburgh Square Gardens, London (2020); This Land is Our Land / Intersection, PAPER Manchester & Queensgate Gallery, Huddersfield (2019); Mind Your Head! Art Cabaret, Nunhead (2019); The Ghost Tide, curated by Monika Bobinska / Sarah Sparkes, Thames-Side Studios Gallery (2018); Liminality 2 (The Unknown), curated by Sean McLusky / Kevin Quigley / Bjørn Hatleskog, Gallery 46 (2018). He has participated in international projects in Bulgaria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the USA. In 2016/17 he received an Arts Council England International Development award to research 'Calum's Road to Aonodomon (Elements)' in Japan. The final film debuted at the Brunel Museum Tunnel Shaft (2018) and in ‘Enduring Nature’, Tokyo Art Lab Akiba, Tokyo, Japan (2019).