Sunday, 2 June 2013

Museum of London: Estuary (and walking)

A friend of mine who works at the Museum of London told me about this exhibition and said that I would like it... she was right! It was incredible! I've always had this strange affinity with water, wherever I go I'm always drawn to nearby lakes, reservoirs, bogs, creeks, and rivers. The thames estuary in particular has always fascinated me. Over the years I've travelled to/ and walked along a number of different areas dotted along the estuary. I remember one trip I took in winter to Canvey Island years ago. The landscape was beyond otherworldly, shrouded in fog, remote and timeless.

The exhibition itself was really varied. My favourite part was John Smith's film installation, I think I must have spent over half an hour watching the sea, it was really memorising and reminded me of a section I recently read in the latest issue of 'Country Walking;' 'I remembered what someone once told me about not needing a TV in a house with a sea view, as the sights out your window were far more rich and involving and indeed changeable.' 

Jock McFadyen's paintings were beautiful too, I don't want to give away too much, I really can't recommend this exhibition enough; informative, inspiring and free.

After we visited the exhibition, my sister and I decided to explore the docklands and got the DLR to Pontoon Dock where we visited the very beautiful Thames Barrier park. We then travelled back to West India Quay where we met my friend who after lunch took us on a walk to Limehouse Basin, from there we followed the Limehouse Cut towards Bow. It was really fascinating. Every time I begin to feel like I know London, I'm exposed to parts I never even knew existed! My friend Halima (who works for the Museum) runs walks in east London/ docklands area and has also produced a series of downloadable audio recordings on her website which you can listen to.

Check out her amazing website, I would def recommend downloading the recordings onto your ipod/ phone and trying out on some of these walks for yourself...

I've included some info about the exhibition as well as some of the pictures I took on the day.

Estuary brings together the work of 12 artists who have been inspired by the outer limits of the Thames where the river becomes the sea. The exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of the Museum of London Docklands, a converted Georgian warehouse on West India Quay. 

With its dramatic landscape – desolate mudflats and saltmarshes, vast open skies, container ports, power stations and seaside resorts – the Estuary has long been a rich source of inspiration for artists and writers. Through film, photography, painting and printmaking, the contemporary artists featured in this exhibition offer new insight into this often overlooked, yet utterly compelling, environment and the people that live and work there.