2021 Programme

First programme announced - much more to follow




Thames Estuary Trail

A second, special limited edition of the first and to date the only book that decribes the Thames Estuary as one epic 107 mile trail. With new chapters, an extended walk and artworks to discover along the way.

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A series of eight artworks to mark the route of the 107 mile walk described in Tom King's book, Thames Estuary Trail, chronicling artist Maria Amidu's enjoyment in discovering both the book and the place.

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The Water Replies - Journals

Beautiful, poetic and moving creative journals kept over the last year by people of all ages, chronicling life by along the Thames Estuary - to be shared through films, posters, murals and window displays.

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The Water Replies - Poetry

Alongside creative journals created by the estuary community, project lead poets, Selina Nwulu and Caroline Bird also created a beautiful book for use in schools - The Water Replies: Notes on Teaching Contemporary Poetry.

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An Unknown Earth

The well-known quote from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness takes on new meaning as four artist/curators, living in the Thames Estuary invite artists, performers and activists to join them in our online Opening Weekend programme

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Data Tree

A conceptual way marker placed at a point where paths diverge, created by artist Jonathan Wright in conversation with park visitors and communities.

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Short film and additions to an existing walking tour at Wat Tyler Country Park by Angela Chan, on the history and legacies of Britain’s explosives manufacturing.

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Our Land

A creative intervention in the form of walking, listening and gardening, a collaboration between four artists Jo Fong, Sonia Hughes, Lisa Mattocks and Andrew Westle

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The People of 1381 Outdoor Exhibition

The People of 1381 Outdoor Exhibition is a comprehensive illustrated overview of one the largest rebellions in the middle ages, with the estuary at its epicentre.

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Tremor at the Edge of Vision

Tremor at the Edge of Vision: a site-specific walking exploration of The Peregrine is an experimental work that takes its starting point from the masterpiece of nature writing by J.A. Baker.

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Soundworks and digital video by Harun Morrison colliding the poetics of emergency architecture with contemporary predictive sea-level models of the Thames Estuary.

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The Lesnes Hundred

The Lesnes Hundred by Eric MacLennan is a socially engaged piece of art offering members of the public the opportunity to name a tree after someone important to them.

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The Storm Cone

By artist Laura Daly, with music by Lucy Pankhurst, an immersive artwork for Chalkwell Park in Southend, that unearths lost bandstands and their buried past.

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Vanishing Point

By US artist Mary Mattingly in partnership with Focal Point Gallery, an ambitious two-part installation, comprising of a learning centre located on Southend Pier, and a floating sculpture moored in nearby waters.

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Shelter in Place

A new work by filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman, featuring Phlocus. Made during the summer of 2020, it will premiere at Estuary 2021.

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Lore of the Wild

An audio storywalk and map to guide you on a transformative journey around Lesnes Abbey Woods.

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PLOT: Water Laid

A new body of work by artist Shaun C. Badham exploring the history of water wells in the estuary region.

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The Commons Way

An exhibition of new calligraphy panels relaying contemporary concepts around ecology, women, plants and land in response to The People of 1381.

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Artist-activists Ackroyd & Harvey bring the spirit of rebellion to Wat Tyler Country Park in respect of the place that seeded a peasant revolt over six hundred years ago.

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Wasted Voyages

Wasted Voyages in the Thames Estuary is a collaboration between YoHa and local people exploring the materiality, culture and history of waste.

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Artist collective The Underground Division have created a new immersive installation for the newly transformed Eco Gallery at Wat Tyler Country Park.

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Out to Dry

An installation by Andy Freeman and Samantha Penn revealing the hidden life cycle of our clothes, and how microplastics make their way into waterways via washing machines.

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An English Garden

An English Garden is the Estuary 2021 iteration of How to Make a Bomb, the durational gardening project by artist Gabriella Hirst.

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Sound Mirrors

Sound Mirrors is a trail of unique sound portraits of six locations on the Essex coast - to be discovered as part of the world's first Art GeoTour.

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The Telling Image

Ten short films responding to the festival’s themes of climate, imperial legacy and rebellion curated by Gareth Evans. 

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Polly II

Polly II imagines a future insurrection by pirates and outcasts surviving in the flooded ruins of East London. Part of The Telling Image curated by Gareth Evans

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Three Films

The Militant Ecologist, Bella Ciao and This Climate - three films by Jem Cohen for The Telling Image.

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A Song for the Forest

Part of The Telling Image curated by Gareth Evans, Gideon Mendel's film shares the music and landscape of musician Marco Frith following the fires that destroyed his home in 2020.

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A short film by Hannah Oliver, part of The Telling Image, ten films curated by Gareth Evans.

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Casting Fu Manchu

Eelyn Lee's recent film is part of The Telling Image curated by Gareth Evans

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The Bravest Boat

Short film by film maker and artist Sarah Wood and novelist Ali Smith, part of The Telling Image, ten films curated by Gareth Evans.

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Early Years

The portrait of Barbara Samuels by Morgan Quaintance is part of The Telling Image - ten films curated by Gareth Evans.

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John on the Void

Stanley Schtinter's film John on the Void is part of The Telling Image, ten films curated by Gareth Evans

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Draw Hope

Bob and Roberta Smith is creating a pavilion in Chatham, an open air gallery, where everyone is invited to ‘take a line for a walk’.

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Golden Years

Inspired by the pop culture collections of Peter Blake, Sadie Hennessy is filling a series of shop windows in Gravesend with people's own collections of memorabilia and ephemera.

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Cohesion Plus are making a new audio work and film for Estuary 2021 featuring local diverse communities and focusing on the multiple identities that people have which are often unseen.

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The Sea View Has Me Again

Patrick Wright & Shona Illingworth will broadcast a conversation recorded as they walk on Sheppey, alongside readings by local residents.

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In the spirit of mail art, Webb-Ellis will exchange letters via post with 5 people around the themes of language, the body, our present moment and possible futures - from a posthuman and deep time perspective.

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Our Time

Marcus Coates’ Our Time will place the songs and calls of locally threatened bird species onto clock towers along the North Kent coastline.

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The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads

Adam Chodzko's The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads is a science fiction audio walk (via headphones), in and around Northfleet, Kent.

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Feral Practice & Esi Eshun's Lissener is a new, darkly comic audio work responding to the human and nonhuman histories of the ruined Oare Gunpowder Works.

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Sum Tyms Bytin Sum Tyms Bit

Feral Practice's Sum Tyms Bytin Sum Tyms Bit draws resonance between themes of power, fragility and exploitation in Kent’s landscapes, and the forces at work in Russell Hoban’s cult 1980 novel Riddley Walker.

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Jezreel’s Tower

John Walter's Jezreel’s Tower tells the story of James Jershom Jezreel, his apocalyptic Victorian cult, and the building of their headquarters in Medway.

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Estuary Live Lounge

Curated by Gareth Evans, this series of conversations continue Estuary 2021's investigation into the deep and layered history of our place and its connections to current social and political concerns, both here in the UK and overseas.

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Obsessive Pursuit: Place and its Purpose

Rachel Lichtenstein joins Iain Sinclair and Gareth Evans to talk about her research connecting Jewish history from her home in the Thames Estuary, to London, Europe and the Caribbean Island of Barbados.

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Arts in Transit

Artist Lata Uphadyaya will be travelling around the estuary from her home in Thurrock in the white Ford Transit van that she has transformed into a travelling art and conversation space.

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Estuary Broadcasts RTM.FM

RTM.FM presents a day of specially commissioned artworks made for online radio broadcast in response to our festival themes.

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Explore Thamesmead

A series of newly commissioned artworks in and around the iconic Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead, showing a growing creative community in the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

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The Rebellious Page

Award winning writers Chloe Aridjis and Jay Griffiths take a look at the role of the written word in highlighting the climate crisis.

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Sutton Manor

Four contemporary writers respond to the remote and inaccessible Sutton Manor, one of the oldest and most enigmatic houses of the Thames Estuary.

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A site-specific performance conceived by Arbonauts, artists Helen Galliano and Dimitri Launder, which imagines a dystopian future of rising sea levels.

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Estuary 2021 is made possible by

Principal Partners

Creative_Estuary_New_1   ace

Major Partners

ecc uok thurrock thames_gateway selep medway  thames estuary   ebbsfleet    mayor locatekent kentcc gravesham uoe bas_coun   south_coun Here for Culture

Commissioning Partners

book_fest community_fund heritage_fund creative_coast bexleysalford fpg lesnes Essex2020Logo The Old Waterworks Logo UCA1

Festival Partners

arts_human uni_south uni_oxford uni_glas send_pier pla opp_se henley c2c roh southeastern Thamesmead2 Peabody2 BowArts3

Festival Supporters

essex_diversity   raddison   uber SouthEssex1 UniversityCentre1

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