In August, I had received a request via Totally Thames, from Tim Palmer, Senior Lecturer in Music Education at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Tim had seen the Tide Line Thames page on Totally Thames' website and wanted to bring his Post Graduate music students for a site visit to the Brunel installation. When the students visited the installation, I spoke with them about my inspiration and our process of making the work. They returned to the Brunel Tunnel Shaft last week – with flute, piano, guitar, bass and a variety of percussion instruments – to perform a collaborative piece of music they had made in response to Tide Line Thames. Thrilling!
I have organized a conversation with five other artists who have made public works about the Thames. Join the conversation:
Confluence: Public Art and the Thames / A Conversation with Six Artists
Monday 11 September, 7 pm
Thames Tunnel Shaft of the Brunel Museum
Artists: Maria Arceo, Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Raewyn Harrison, Anne Krinsky, Dr. Loraine Leeson and Ali Pretty
Moderator: Colette Bailey
Confluence is a panel discussion with six artists who have made public works in response to the river. Maria Arceo, Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Raewyn Harrison, Dr. Loraine Leeson and I will be in conversation about our Thames projects with Curator Colette Bailey. Colette Bailey is the Director of METAL and also curates the biannual Estuary Festival.
The conversation will examine the artistic process of channeling a passion for the Thames into a public art work. The artists work in a range of media – sound, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, paint and projection and several have created participatory events. Taken together their works investigate the river's varied aspects – its biodiversity, plastics and pollution, stories from river communities, Thames architectural structures and archeology of the foreshore.
FREE / PAY WHAT YOU WISH TO SUPPORT BRUNEL MUSEUM / Part of Totally Thames
Booking Essential on Eventbrite.
Anne Krinsky: Shoring Up Greenwich 8, digital photo, 2016
Tide Line Thames, our collaborative projected installation, is screening daily from 2 - 5 pm through September in Brunel Museum's Thames Tunnel Shaft in Rotherhithe. The fifteen minute film merges my video footage – of the river and its architectural structures between high and low tide lines – with Tom's animations of faux tunneling forms, inspired by Brunel's Tunnel and Tunnel Shaft.
The collaboration is the culminating exhibition of my two-year Tide Line Thames project, which was supported by Arts Council England.
I met Tom Pearman on the New Creative Markets Programme, a mentoring scheme jointly funded by SPACE studios and the European Regional Development Fund. Our practices share a passion for architecture and geometry and I learned a lot from this collaboration. I worked with video for the first time for this project and received technical advice and support from Levin Haegele and London Creative Network, a follow-up mentoring programme for artists working in new mediums.
The installation is free with Brunel Museum admission: £6 /£4 concs. Under 16s free.
The Thames Tunnel Shaft hosts a range of events, from historical talks and tours to opera and sometimes closes early for rehearsals, so call the Brunel Museum on 020 7231 3840 ahead of your visit.
By appointment at other times: firstname.lastname@example.org
More info at Totally Thames.
Tide Line Thames, an installation of light projected imagery created in collaboration with artist Tom Pearman, will be screened in the Thames Tunnel Shaft of the Brunel Museum during the month of September. The installation merges my video footage of the river and its architecture – between high and low tide lines – with Tom's animations of faux tunneling forms, inspired by Brunel's Tunnel and Tunnel Shaft. It is part of the 2017 Totally Thames Festival and is the culminating exhibition of my two-year Tide Line Thames project.
We developed our collaboration within the Tunnel Shaft and are projecting the images directly onto its rough curved walls. The tunnel shaft itself dictated the kind of images that worked within it. Because it is not a clean white space, our imagery needed to be quite graphic to hold its own. Tom's geometrical animations – when overlaid on my video footage – create intriguing visual relationships.
Thank you to Tom for video editing! Thank you to Arts Council England for supporting the project and to Robert Hulse, director of the Brunel Museum for hosting Tide Line Thames.
More information on Totally Thames website here.
Poster design: Jesse Stecklow
Here are are a few installation photos of the Tropical Thames panels in Crossrail Place Roof Garden. It's FREE and open from 6am to 9pm daily.
Here is an installation shot of Shadow Play, keystone image.
Sea Change and Seeing Double. All the panels are 220 x 160 cm, digital prints on dibond aluminium. There are 8 panels in all.
And Submerged. I designed these prints with the structure of the Roof Garden in mind and with images of the garden's ferns embedded in some prints. Tropical Thames is on until 15 October.
I saw the eight panels of Tropical Thames for the first time today as they were being installed in the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf. A huge thanks to Martin and Paul from Kamset Digital for their expert installation and to Kim for overseeing their production. I will take some proper installation photos later this week, but here are a couple of shots of the set-up.
Tropical Thames was commissioned by Canary Wharf Arts and is on view from 6am to 9pm daily until October 15. During the month of September it is part of the 2017 Totally Thames Festival.
Tide Line Thames
After a long absence from this blog, I am back. I have spent countless hours in the intervening months taking video at my favorite Thames locations in southeast London. The footage will be used in the second stage of Tide Line Thames, my two year project funded by Arts Council England. The architecture of the river between high and low tidelines continues to fascinate me.
In the course of filming, I've heard river stories from passersby who stopped to chat. A gentleman from the Greenwich Rowing Club came by as I was filming at the Greenwich Power Station. I asked him the function of its fabulous structure, part of which juts out from the building into the river. Its massive cast iron pillars are planted in the river bed and support an overhead metal structure.
He told me that he remembers when the plant was coal-fired, and coal was delivered by boat, hoisted up by cranes into carts which were then rolled into the power station. He went on to say that during the war, locals would buy drinks for the coal boat pilots in nearby King William pub. The pilots obliged by leaving open the coal hatches on their boats and locals dredged the foreshore around the power station to scavenge the spillage.
The power station suggests a vast proscenium stage and casts theatrical shadows on sunny days.
The video I have taken is for Tide Line Thames: A Collaborative Light Projected Installation, that Tom Pearman and I are creating, for the Thames Tunnel Shaft of the Brunel Museum in September. We will be projecting images directly onto the rough curved walls of the Thames Tunnel Shaft. The shaft itself has dictated the kind of images that we worked with. Because it is not a clean white space, our imagery needed to be quite graphic to hold its own. I am excited by the intriguing visual relationships that have developed from overlaying Tom's geometrical animations onto my video footage.
More info on Totally Thames website
I have been working on a second installation for the 2017 Totally Thames Festival. Canary Wharf Arts has commissioned me to design large scale images which will be printed on dibond aluminium panels. They will be displayed in the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf from 15 August to 15 October 2017.
For this project, I have worked with hybrid images. I began by projecting my Thames photographs onto the surfaces of my Thames paintings and photographed the results. I took these new photographs into Photoshop and began to cut and collage them to make images for the digital prints. Not the least bit naturalistic, the saturated colours and prismatic light of these images led to the installation's title.
Designing the prints for Tropical Thames also involved some time travel – to London's trading past and its potential future. The Roof Garden features varieties of plants that were native to countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company, which unloaded goods in this location 200 years ago. In the course of researching and making work about the Thames, I also have been thinking about the urgent issue of climate change and what the effects of rising temperatures and sea levels could mean for the tidal river. Tropical Thames might be a beautiful nightmare.
More info on Totally Thames website.
I am looking ahead to the 2017 Totally Thames Festival in September and Tide Line Thames is expanding. I am creating an installation of projected imagery for the Thames Tunnel Shaft of the Brunel Museum, with artist Tom Pearman below.
I have had the chance to access some technical help from Levin Haegele on the London Creative Network Programme, a mentoring scheme funded by the EU and SPACE London. In January, I exhibited a new sequence of images, Tide Line Composites, as projections for the LCN Showcase at Space Studios.
To make the Composites, I projected my photos of Thames architecture onto the surfaces of my Tide Line Thames paintings and photographed the resulting hybrid images. I then cropped and excerpted those images in Photoshop to create sets of 6 images in a grid – a fusion of painting, photography and projection. Here is Tide Line Composite 14.
And in breaking news... I have been invited by Canary Wharf Arts to extend my Thames project to create an installation of images which will be printed on large scale aluminium panels and installed in the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, a new public space at Canary Wharf. This installation also will be part of the 2017 Totally Thames Festival. I have wanted to try printing images on dibond aluminium panels for some time and now have a faublous opportunity to do so with this commission.
Anne Krinsky: Tide Line Thames has been up for two weeks in The Gallery, Thames-Side Studios. The last four opening days of the show are 22 – 25 September, from 12–6 pm.
Everyone feels a connection to the River Thames. While I have been invigilating the exhibition, visitors have been telling me their river stories and starting conversations about river history, the pace of development, flooding and climate change. A woman in the gallery a few days ago, who had lived in Putney for many years, told me she remembers flooding in Putney houses before the Thames Barrier was built and receiving frequent phone alerts from the Port of London Authority. The increasingly frequent use of the Barrier raises concerns about how long it can protect a subsiding London from rising sea levels due to climate change.
Among the works on view in Tide Line Thames is my trio of digital scrolls below: Rotherhithe Wall, Wapping Stairs and Paint Jobs Masthouse. Their imagery references the maritime and industrial history of the Thames. I also wanted to suggest the verticality of the river walls and the tidal shift of the river – up to 7 meters.
These archival digital scrolls were printed on Hannemuhle German Etching Paper at Thames-Side Print Studioon the large-format Epson. The print studio, on the back side of the Gallery building, faces the river and has a fabulous view of the Thames Barrier.
I have been trying to find out if this unusual structure I recently photographed at dead low tide in Rotherhithe, was part of the infrastructure of the Grand Surrey Canal. Does anyone know its history?
I am fascinated with both the geometric regularity of repeated pattern and its disruption. As such, the eroding river architecture is a perfect match for my visual interests. On the foreshore in Greenwich, cement bags have been stacked as bulwarks to preserve the river walls. Here are two photos from my Shoring Up Greenwich series.
In making the Tide Line Thames paintings, I was thinking about the ephemeral and kinetic nature of the tidal river, as it brings in and takes away bits of material, eroding and shifting seemingly fixed structures. I worked with acrylic and collaged Mylar on aluminium panels, slowly building up layers of acrylic and moving around pieces of my painted drafting film, in an additive and subtractive process.
Here is River Walls, one of the paintings in the show – acrylic and mixed media on aluminium panel, 135 x 100 centimetres.
Thames river stairs were everywhere along the river when it was a main source of transport in London. According to the Thames Discovery website, by 1725, some 15,000 river taxis or "wherries" provided river service to Londoners. And there were 88 recorded regulated landing places where passengers could come aboard in high or low tide.
These historic river stairs in various stages of erosion suggest surreal journeys to unknown destinations. Many have vanished altogether. Here are some photos of old and more recent Thames stairs.
I frequently walk the Thames Path to the east or west of where I live in Rotherhithe. The South Dock Boatyard and Marina lie to the east, on a last bit of the river's undeveloped shoreline. The Boatyard, like much of London, is slated for high-rise development. I like to see the boats winched up out of the water for repairs and watch as their hulls are patched, sanded and painted. The scarred surfaces are abstract patchworks, visible until a final coat of paint covers them.
I think of the hulls of boats – as they rise and fall with the tide – as fair game for this project. The first image is a from a paint job in the South Dock Boatyard. The Royal Iris, (middle) was once a Mersey Ferry, and is now derelict on the foreshore in Woolwich, east of the Thames Barrier. And the crumbling paint (bottom) is from the deck of the SS Robin, the world's oldest complete steamship, now moored at the Royal Victoria Dock, awaiting further restoration.
I am enchanted by the architecture of the Thames’ embankments, which are etched and eroded by the tides and the passage of time. The river walls, with their worn stone and wood surfaces embellished with bright green algae, are some of London’s most beautiful structures.
I have been awarded a Grant for the Arts from Arts Council England for my project, Tide Line Thames. Tide Line Thames takes as its subject matter the shifting riverscape and its architectural structures -- embankments, piers and river stairs -- between the Thames' high and low tide lines. The work also will incorporate river-related historical materials from London archives.
I will create two installations which will be exhibited as part of London's Totally Thames Festivals in successive years. The first exhibition of paintings, photographs and large-scale digital scrolls will be in The Gallery at Thames-Side Studios, in September 2016. A second installation in September 2017 will be in the subterranean cylindrical space of the Thames Tunnel Shaft of the Brunel Museum, and will involve projected imagery.
As part of my research, I have been taking photographs of the river and its embankments, both from the shore and from MBNA Thames Clippers, who are supporting this project. Tide Line Thames also has received support from Global Art Supplies, Great Art, Thames-Side Print Studio and Thames-Side Studios. Here are some photos taken from the Greenwich foreshore: