University student engagement

Estuary 2021 is delighted to support students and higher education staff across the region by providing creative industry experience through live briefs, talks, crit sessions and support for students to create new creative work in response to Thames Estuary Trail themes for Estuary 2021.

To date we have worked with 8 courses and 115 students, in the following ways.

In partnership with South Essex College, BA (Hons) Digital Animation students and alumni have been creating new digital animations in response to Tom King’s book Thames Estuary Trail: A Walk Round the End of the World. This has resulted in some incredible responses, ranging from visualisations of new estuary ghost stories, an animated Canvey Island dragonfly taking flight, and the much-loved Southend Pier seals bobbing around as adorable cartoon characters. 

Graphic Design and Illustration students are also responding to a live brief, working collaboratively in groups to respond to a set of creative tasks inspired by the Thames Estuary Trail, ranging from social media idents, animations and tiles; poster designs and iconography for collectable items.

BA (Hons) Art and the Environment students at Writtle University College are responding to a live brief to creatively engage with the themes and audiences of Estuary 2021. Responses range from designing dinner plates to creating limited edition prints, animations and posters inspired by estuary landmarks. Estuary 2021 online talks have taken place with Landscape Architecture and Garden Design MA students, facilitating discussions around how artistic interventions can activate new engagement with and understanding of landscapes in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

10 BA Hons Creative Producer students studying at University of Essex / East15 are working with the Estuary 2021 team.  Five students in their final year have devised their own creative content for the festival, commissioning and producing a trail of new ‘rubbing’ stations along our 107 mile festival Thames Estuary Trail.  Created by local artists and depicting local history and stories, these works will be installed for the public to collect as they walk, cycle or visit locations along the festival route.  The five students who are in the second year of their course have been teamed up with Estuary 2021 artists and project managers to help with the production of our outdoor works, gaining valuable insight and work experience, alongside making a fantastic contribution to our team.

University of the Creative Arts are developing a project with thematic relationships to the Thames Estuary, connecting to the geography of the estuary as location and context. It will be public facing, inviting participation and engagement from estuary communities.  Between 6-10 students are working with the Estuary 2021 team, and devising their own projects, to take place at the festival. The students are also working with autistic people at Gravesham’s Artrack community group.

Image credits: thumbnail on previous page by Claire Jebbit; image above still from 'girl becomes seal' animation by Harry Green

Estuary Festival is supported by