Hydracity 2020-2022

Hydracity brings artists and public together to investigate London’s watery network, the interlocking ideas & currents that flow in/out the Thames; with new artistic commissions, exhibitions, festival, and participatory workshops. Exploring this hydra-like city, an organism whose legendary regenerative ability offers overlapping narratives for our watery commons; by nurturing IL’s cultural community, Hydracity celebrates collective co-creation in walking, art & ecology. In experiencing the city as one interactive ecosystem, IL will offer unique & dynamic visions while collaborating with wider publics, investigating together other fluid states in the city’s embodied confluences.

Hydracity 2021 is an ambitious, timely, transformational programme of work, linked to a novel programme of co-creation, open workshops & public engagement. The activity is delivered by a wide range of artists, artist collectives & multidisciplinary partners across London. along the Thames and out into the Estuary. Hydracity re-imagines the city’s river system as one organism with a slow-motion evolution like a hydra’s looping locomotion; in geological time the estuary extends and retracts according to prevailing conditions. By reimagining the city as space of water, we track the nature of the radical changes, wrought on the Valley’s watery arteries and create other future visions, other liquid states, other understandings.

During 2021, Hydrodetours creates a series of novel waking workshops for the public to join IL’s on the ground mapping, exchanging and sharing knowledge and histories. The festival in September 2021 located in the landscape, on waterways, online and within safe venues, will explore current issues of climate change, environmental protection & the ongoing ecological challenges. The project employs forms of alternative/collective practice, with artists working with local communities, groups and partners to explore watery commons’ rich and often overlooked stories, bringing new audiences to a deeper understanding of Thames Valley ecosystem.

For Hydracity we are partnering with artists, artist groups and other festivals to create unique set of watery commons walks – launching walks during Estuary 2021, T100 and Totally Thames. All walks are new commissions delivered and supported by volunteers and artist associates.