A River Enquiry

Programme of interventions at Thames Festival

A River Enquiry

A River Enquiry at The Mayor’s Thames Festival, London City Bridge Pier, Potters Fields Park & HMS Belfast, 11th – 12th September, 2010.

In a new partnernship with The Mayor’s Thames Festival, home live art commissioned three new pieces of work by artists: Amy Sharrocks, Search Party and Tim Etchells. Using the River Thames as a point of reference, a resource and a location, each artist created a temporary work exploring our relationship to water. A River Enquiry was a key feature of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, London’s largest free outdoor arts festival.

Amy Sharrocks ‘Thames Water’: Pursuing her on-going passion for London’s famous river and challenging its official health and safety status, Amy set up a paddling pool and invited people to roll up their trousers and wade through the city’s water. Environmental charity Thames 21 were also on hand to help people test the water of what is purportedly one of the cleanest rivers in Europe.

Search Party ‘Save Me’: Bristol duo Search Party tested the limits of intimacy between two people separated by stretches of the River Thames. With help from the public, Search Party conducted two two-hour conversations: signalling between the prow of HMS Belfast and London Bridge using semaphore flags in the afternoon and at night, between the stern of the ship and Tower Bridge, using torches and morse code.

Tim Etchells ‘Cold Water Fun’: The public were invited to imagine the city and its river in new and expected ways through a fictitious programme of events for the River Thames. Free booklets were distributed throughout the festival site, advertising weird, wonderful and the practically impossible imagined by artist, writer and leader of world-renowned performance company Forced Entertainment, Tim Etchells.
Download a copy of Cold Water Fun here.

Photos by Jim Banks & Mike Blythe

The Mayors Thames Festival





  • When 11-12 September 2010
  • Time
  • Where Tower Bridge, London

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