Reflections on first Estuary Anthology workshop

We are excited to share insights and discussions from our recent workshop held on 14 March 2024. Our community of creatives gathered to explore ideas around the estuary and the notion of vessels. The workshop asked: what does the word ‘vessel’ mean to you in relation to your practice and the estuary? 

The session began with participants introducing themselves, sharing their backgrounds, practices, and relationship with the estuary. The group was diverse, with ceramicists inspired by the ebbing and flowing of tides, researchers muddling along the stretches of mud of Canvey Island, sailors, and artists using materials from the intertidal zone to create ink. Each person brought a unique perspective to the table, and themes of renewal, transformation, and environmental awareness emerged as part of their work, reflecting the estuary's complexity and diversity. 

Participants were then given materials to make their own vessels and initiate ideas around possible projects for the festival. Some proposed working with local materials such as clay and seaweed to create ceramics and ink. Others reflected on the interconnectedness between the estuary and their bodies, highlighting how the water of the Thames passes through us. Ideas were shared, including sketchbook collectives, site-specific installations, projections, and walks – all of which have the potential to engage with different communities – both human and more than human – in Castle Point and beyond. Personal connections to the estuary were also discussed, with participants expressing feelings of reverence, fear, and communion with the estuary. These emotional responses underscored the deep-rooted relationship between people and the surrounding environment. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our workshop. It was a very special evening. Your passion, insights and creativity are driving forces in our shared exploration and interest of the estuary’s wonders. So stay tuned for updates on upcoming events. More to come! 

Estuary Festival is supported by