Hydrodetours Projects 2021

HYDRODETOURS 2021 into 2020

Over 5 years – crossing drained marsh, the courses of dried up streams, boggy overgrown riverside, canals, drainage trenches, even under piped rivers, streams and along the artificial canalised New River, returning without fail to press our feet into the muddy foreshore of the Tidal Thames and its major tributaries, we remain awed and inspired by London’s watery geometry. Now InspiralLondon embarks upon another voyage of discovery, by raft, kayak, in waders and boots or by boat to investigate – on the fluid ground – something of the Thames Valley Basin’s rich undervalued watery commons, detouring and exploring along and among its watery terrain. In order to understand its complexity and its 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 Hydracity takes time to celebrate and share together the extraordinary and unexpected, hidden within the Metropole’s watery veins and shifting flows. We share our stories and activities allowing other public/s to navigate these fluid times, building together walking rafts to the future.

From September – May 2021 Inspiral conduct 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 on individual Hydrodetours guided walks. These walks will be launched publicly as part of programme of Festivals, and exhibitions from June 2021 into October 2021. Inspiral’s first Hydrodetours take place during Estuary Festival (June 6-13 2021), then during Beach of Dreams/T100 (Kinetika – Thurrock walks programme 25-27 July 2021); as part of Totally Thames Festival (September 2021); culminating in a North Kent walking art festival (September/October). Hydrodetours will become a permanent online/ontheground resource for discovery, as guided detour walks, that continue sharing sets of unique experiences and hidden places. With projected schedule of new walks planned for Spring 2022.

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.

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 the lifting of current Covid lockdown (after February 20).