Totally Thames 2019 Announces Four Highlights
Totally Thames has announced four incredible highlights of the 2019 festival. This year's celebration of the River Thames will champion the heritage of the river as the vital centre of London's history, its diverse culture and its connection to the rest of the world.
Totally Thames 2019 encourages Londoners and visitors from further abroad to take part in an amazing programme of arts, culture and heritage, including London's newest and biggest river challenge to a ship that explores the inclusive and welcoming history of the nation's capital.
The Ship of Tolerance, created by acclaimed artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, brings together children from a multitude of continents, cultures and identities through the universal language of art. This moving international installation utilises the artworks of a thousand primary school children, refugee groups, hospitals and cultural organisations to create the sails of a stunning wooden ship. The Ship of Tolerance, a floating sculpture measuring 60 feet, will be moored in the Royal Docks in August and by the Millennium Bridge throughout September, promoting unity in the heart of the capital. The project will also be supporting community workshops encouraging tolerance and diversity. The Ship of Tolerance is produced by the Kabakov Foundation and Nadja Romain, Founder Art Action Change in collaboration with Thames Festival Trust.
Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor of Culture and Creative Industries, comments London is a beacon of inclusiveness and acceptance, so there really is no better place to display The Ship of Tolerance. The project is a wonderful example of the power of art to unite communities and inspire young people.
The mudlarkers are a vital and important part of London's culture and history; Foragers of the Foreshore is the most significant exploration of mudlarking ever held in the UK. Curated by Florence Evans, it unearths the rich history of the capital through the objects which have been recovered from the mudbanks of the River Thames for over two centuries.
As part of this fascinating and expansive look into the mudlarkers and their extraordinary finds, there will be two public exhibitions: one of beautiful photographs by Hannah Smiles of remarkable mudlark finds displayed at Riverside Walkway, and another at The Bargehouse of a remarkable collection of rare mudlark finds alongside portraits of the mudlarkers who have dedicated their lives to collecting them, as well as innovative works by artists using a wealth of foreshore finds. This exhibition at The Bargehouse will provide Totally Thames visitors with the opportunity to meet Mudlark in Residence Nicola White.
MOLA's Thames Discovery Programme, Thames21 and Unruly Heritage will explore the connection between mudlarking and inter-tidal archaeology highlighting the issue of how today's discarded objects become tomorrow's archaeological finds. A comprehensive programme of walks, talks and guided mudlarking will accompany Foragers of the Foreshore. Moreover, there will be a fascinating new online gallery of 3D-scanned objects using new technology, and a new selection of oral history testimonies from the mudlarkers.
London has a rich odorous history, which sometimes we like to wash from our memories: The Barking Stink upholds the memory of Barking and Dagenham's vibrant industrial heritage, including the famously pungent smells that once emanated from Barking Creek. Two 'scented history' pop-up exhibitions will guide visitors through Barking Creek's unusual olfactory history, exploring what it felt and smelled like living and working alongside noxious factories, fumes and filthy river pollution. Scent heritage experts Odette Toilette, Tasha Marks and Cecilia Bembibre will lead fragranced sessions exploring how smell prompts memory and association, Dirty Old London author Lee Jackson will host an illustrated talk, and renowned writer-filmmaker Iain Sinclair will guide visitors on a Thames Clippers trip down the Thames to Barking.
Championing the environmental benefits that the river brings to the capital, Tideway's trailblazing Regatta London will take to the Thames this September for the UK's newest challenge. This mass participation event will see boaters of all kinds take over twelve miles of the iconic river in central London in an unprecedented fundraising event for local and national environmental causes. Regatta London will provide an incredible and unique opportunity for paddlers to take over the river with the Thames Barrier closing to provide access to the largest natural space in London. This celebration of the River Thames will be the race to watch this September!
Adrian Evans, Director of Totally Thames, says This year we have over a hundred events on and around the Thames from Kingston in the West to Erith in the East. Join us in September - or rather Sep-Thames-ber - for London's river month!
Full details about the programme and all listings will be released in July 2019.