Hydrodetours Projects 2021

HYDRODETOURS 2021 into 2020

InspiralLondon’s Hydrodetours are unique artist-led walks that offer new ways of experiencing our city’s watery ecosystem. Embarking upon another voyage of discovery on foot, whether in waders, with boots or by boat – to investigate – on the fluid oozing ground, something of the Thames Valley Delta’s rich watery commons. Together, we detour and explore among its watery terrain, in order to understand its urban complexity and its hidden variety, but also to create a new sense of value and wonder within its beautiful biodiversity.

In these times of rapid extinction, climate upheaval and ecological crisis Hydrodetours offer you a time to celebrate and a time to share the extraordinary and unexpected, hidden within the Metropole’s shifting watery veins. By sharing alternative narratives and experiences we invite you to navigate these fluid times, building together walking rafts to the futur

From September 2020 – June 2021 Inspiral conducted a series of exploratory walks by rivers, on marsh and along waterways of the Thames Estuary Basin. Initially these walk workshops provide research and development for Hydracity Project, informing the work of commissioned artists working towards individual Hydrodetours guided walks. These walks will be launched publicly as part of programme of Arts Events, and exhibitions from September 2021 into November 2021 (Subject to funding and Covid).

Inspiral’s first public Watery investigations take place during Estuary Festival (June 5 -13 2021), then during Beach of Dreams/T100 (Kinetika – Thurrock walks programme 25-27 July 2021); and then as part of Totally Thames Festival (September 2021); culminating in a North Kent walking art festival (end September/October). Hydrodetours will become a permanent online/ontheground resource for discovery, as guided detour walks, sharing sets of unique experiences and hidden places. With projected schedule of new walks planned for Spring 2022.  For more information and to sign up for walk/events and performative walks visit inspiral’s Events or sign up at Eventbrite

Hydrodetours 2021

Towards the Watery (H)edges of Gravesend (5 June 2021) – This exploratory Hydrodetour walk launches with ‘Trail of the Blue Porcupine’ from Gravesend’s unique art centre LV21

Darent Valley Con/fluences to Graves/end with J D Swann & Charlie Fox (12 June 2021)

Rainham Marshes/Rainham Barges with Anne Bean and Inspiral Collective (13 June 2021)

Mucking Detour – InspiralLondon Collective with Jane Trowell & Ben Coode-Adams (26 July 2021)

Branches of the Wogebourne with J D Swann (11 September 2021)

Watery Commons Deptford with Jacqui Utley & Deptford inhabitants (12 September 2021)

Watery Woolwich the Celtic Omphalos of London with Sailor Forbes (18 September)

Mollett and Morris’ Hydra-touring (26 September 2021)

Times and specific event conditions tbc (in line with Covid-19 regulations). Further late summer/autumn Hydrodetours to be added to schedule in June 2021.

R&D Hydrodetours

  1. Along the Darent Valley Path from M25 to Dartford Barrier and the Thames.
  2. Lost River Wogebourne to the Thamesmead marshlands.
  3. Rainham Barges to the mouth of the Mardyke.
  4. Mucking, Thameside Nature Discovery Park.
  5. Woolwich Arsenal and Thameside Oppidum – London’s orginal centre.

Hydrodetours will:

Create alternative histories and other narratives for places: eg at Estuary crossing points & confluences of waterways.

Offer new understandings & novel ways of experiencing the watery commons together – in the interactions of complex ecosystems or cohabiting/cooperating.

Explore narratives of people, places and landscapes that offer alternative views of dominant ‘histories’, as catalyst for change.

Use our bodies as one watery ecosystem within the wider overlapping watery commons – in the merging of solidity and fluidity.

Celebrate water as a regenerative resource for shifting times.

Hydrodetours will also be offered as guided walks by using online maps – for individual walkers to experience the Hydrodetour both virtually or by following the map at their leisure.

A calendar of scheduled walks/events and public walk workshops can be found on our events page. This walk calendar will be updated following current Covid regulations or measures.