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Hydracity – Towards Watery Commons 

10th September 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 26th September 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Hydracity – Towards Watery Commons

An Exhibition from 10th September – 26th September at the Thames-Side Studios Gallery with a programme of walks, performances, and interactive artworks.

Final Weekend Special Events:

Start the final weekend of September with gentle Waterside Foraging led by artist Clare Qualmann (on Friday 24 Sept,  Meeting at Thames-Side Studio Gallery for walk 1pm – 2.30pm); the fruits and edibles will be used on the following day.

Saturday 25 Sept (10.30-4pm) as part of Hydracity Woolwich Riverside Community events – Natural Heritage Community Day with local walks – see here.

Or join Ian Thompson’s unique walk from Rochester to Gravesend skirting the Thames Delta marshlands on Hoo Soundings along Thames/Medway canal (11am -5pm)

Then on Sunday 26 September Exhibition open from 12 to 6.30pm

At the exhibition events for all from 4-7pm Hydracity Story Tales and Tails, ending with a magical lantern show.

From 4pm inspirallondon will serve tea and drinks including our vintage inspiral sloe gin. Alongside Hydracity Associate Artists Tales and Tails from Hydrodetours and inspiralling – the histories, archaeology and geology hidden beneath the watery commons: Including readings and tales from Le Collectif des Gammares…

From 6pm an appearance of the Blue Porcupine from Gravesend (artist – Sarah Sparkes)

For Hydracity finale from 6.15 pm Mollett and Morris setting up for Hydrodetour of Woolwich Old Dockyard – With Gallery Lantern show from 6.30pm. Come prepared for fantastical tales of monsters, forgotten places and satirical humour in the watery nooks and crannies of the old Naval Docks.

(If you are coming to the walk that leaves the Gallery and finishes around 7.45pm please do book here and wear sensible clothing and lighting for an early evening walk)

Hydracity asks us to observe and imagine London and its hinterland as watery environment, by inviting artists to re-experience this fluid, shifting and untameable environment. What is it that circulates beneath our feet oozing from the muddy delta of the Thames as we explore the interconnected labyrinth of watery commons intersecting urban spaces, that flow across, through and into us?

This exhibition will focus on our experience of these watery commons while exploring fluid collective co-creation. You are invited to collaborate in this artistic project to reimagine the city as a watery ecosystem. By re-evaluating the city as a space shaped by water, we’ll track the nature and extent of the radical changes wrought on the valley’s watery arteries, while creating alternative visions, and understandings.

Hydracity also re-imagines the city’s river system as slowly evolving tentacled organism, much like a hydra’s looping locomotion. By observing water – its capacity to merge fluidity and solidity – we can see it as a regenerative resource and even a metaphor for shifting times.  This ever-changing environment of the aqueous commons reflects something of the hydra-like city, whose ability to rejuvenate offers overlapping narratives for this complex watery labyrinth. For the exhibition at Thames-side Gallery InspiralLondon creates a unique sculptural labyrinth map that interacts with other activities, archives, experiences and with potential walks across the city.

Artists, artist groups and collectives have been invited to contribute to Hydracity, by coming together in this search for our watery commons. The exhibition launches a number of specially commissioned public artworks that includes Hydrodetours guided walks; performances; sound and sculptural installation; performative lectures; films and an interactive watery archive. Together, making alternative narratives for places, people and the landscape within London’s Thames basin by immersing ourselves in different ways of understanding the city’s waterways, and in experiencing the complex ecosystems and surprising biodiversity sustained by them.

InspiralLondon’s Hydracity is an artistic exploration of London’s urban environment and ecology through on the ground mapping with the aim to create a network of alternative histories, stories and experiences of the  commons. This collective art project is an opportunity for artists to re-imagine the Thames Delta as a fluid and dream-like ecosystem, unpredictable, ever shifting and dissolving and ultimately mysterious.

Preview: Friday 10 September 2021, 6-9pm, exhibition opens Saturday 11 September 2021- Exhibition dates: Saturday 11 – Sunday 26 September 2021   Open Thursday-Sunday, 12-5pm (except 26 September open until 6pm)



10th September 2021 @ 6:00 pm
26th September 2021 @ 6:00 pm


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Thames-Side Gallery
Harrington Way, Warspite Road Royal Borough of Greenwich
London, SE18 5NR United Kingdom
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(0)20 8301 8844
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