Friday 21st May 2021 to
Saturday 12th June 2021
The Thames Estuary is home to some of the most overlooked landscapes and river vistas in the UK. The aim of Estuary has always been to encourage an exploration of these landscapes along with gaining insight into their history and significance.
Estuary 2021 has commissioned a broad and diverse range of artists to respond with different disciplines and working practices to various sites along the South Essex and North Kent estuary coastlines.
Programme announced to date includes: -
SILT will be a site-specific performance conceived by Arbonauts, artists Helen Galliano and Dimitri Launder. Imagining a dystopian future of rising sea levels, it will be performed in the water of the distinctive tidal pool at East Beach in Shoeburyness at the very eastern reaches of Thames Estuary. The work will feature local open-water swimmers and students from East 15 Acting School, part of University of Essex.
Writer Robert Macfarlane, theatre maker Zoe Svendsen and sound designer Carolyn Downing are collaborating to stage a re-imagining of Robert’s book, Ness (Hamish Hamilton, 2019) written in collaboration with the artist Stanley Donwood. Set within the ex-MOD site, Gunners Park at Shoeburyness, the GPS sonic work will be experienced through headphones and will invite audiences to listen to the landscape reveal its past, as we witness the physical remnants of that history being reclaimed by nature. Working in close partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
A walk across the Isle of Sheppey with writer Patrick Wright and artist filmmaker Shona Illingworth, exploring the story of Uwe Johnson, one of Germany's greatest and most-influential post-war writers, and how he came to live and work in Sheerness in the 1970s. The walk will be broadcast from the Isle of Sheppey.
Wat Tyler Country Park is 125 acres of natural landscape at the tip of Vange Creek, one of many estuary tributaries and channels. The park is named after the infamous leader of the Great Rising (also referred to as the Peasants' Revolt) of 1381 which started in the nearby Essex village of Fobbing. For Estuary 2021, 18 artists will respond to the landscape and layered histories of this site drawing on stimulating parallels with the contemporary themes of the festival. Of those 18 artists, we have announced thirteen: Shaun C. Badham; Angela Chan (Worm: art + ecology); Jo Fong, Sonia Hughes, Lisa Mattocks and Andrew Wrestle; Andy Freeman and Samantha Penn; Harun Morrison; Morgan O'Hara; Helen Prichard, Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting (Underground Division).