Celebrating London’s River

Totally Thames 2015 will again bring London’s river to life throughout the month of September with an exciting season of arts, cultural and river events.   The festival will will celebrate the Thames and the many different ways London’s residents and visitors can connect with the river.

Here are some of the events. Others you can find on the Totally Thames website.

Thames Festival 2015: The Rising Tide, by Jason theCaires Taylor. Photo: Jason theCaires Taylor.

Thames Festival 2015: The Rising Tide, by Jason theCaires Taylor. Photo: Jason theCaires Taylor.

The Rising Tide by Jason theCaires Taylor
Tues 1 Sep – Wed 30 Sep, Visible at low tide
Thames foreshore at Vauxhall, adjacent to Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment , SE1 7TW

The first London commission of world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, The Rising Tide, is concealed and revealed by the daily ebb and flow of the tide on the Vauxhall foreshore. These four proud horses and their riders highlight the role of the Thames as the lifeblood of London, shaping the city’s great history as an  ever evolving centre for culture, industry and commerce.

Enigmatic life-size sculptures of two men, two children and four horses will be revealed and concealed by the tide on the foreshore at Vauxhall. Taylor has a global reputation for his underwater sculptures in coral reef sites. The sculptures are visible at low tide and are in situ throughout September.

The Rising Tide is a commission for Totally Thames 2015. The project is supported by the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, Vauxhall One and LuminarPrime8.

Thames Festival 2015: The Rising Tide, by Jason theCaires Taylor. Photo: Jason theCaires Taylor.

Thames Festival 2015: The Rising Tide, by Jason theCaires Taylor. Photo: Jason theCaires Taylor.

The Great River Race
Sat 12 Sep, 10.45am – 7pm
Millwall Slipway, Westferry Road E14 3QS
to riverside below Ham House, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RS

Over 300 man powered vessels take part in this colourful river marathon, which starts in Millwall on the Isle of Dogs and finishes by Ham House in Richmond. Amongst the boats racing are 12 Dutch sloops manned by active and retired Dutch Marines that have rowed 350km across the English Channel from Rotterdam to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. A formal head-to-head challenge from the Dutch Marines has been accepted by the Royal Navy which has confirmed that at least one of its own fleet will be crewed by Royal Marines, so watch this space for an exciting Race!

Totally Thames 2015. Tall Ships. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

Totally Thames 2015. Tall Ships. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

St Katherine Docks Classic Boat Festival
St Katharine Docks, E1W 1LA
12-13 September, 11am – 5pm

A celebration of classic boats from all over the country with live music from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy, the Sea Shanty Singers, the Dutch Marine Rowing Band and others.

A cruise in the Company of … and Thames Talks and walks
Throughout September A series of river cruises hosted by various Thames experts, such as art historian and BBC personality Dan Cruikshank, author Christopher Winn, curator of the Brunel Museum Robert Hulse. Talks include a celebration of Nelsons’ Trafalgar, an insight into the Eyots and Aits of the Thames and a history of swimming in the Thames, while the accompanying walks programme celebrates the vibrant history and ecology of London’s river.

Totally Thames 2015. Shard Photo: Henry Reichhold

Totally Thames 2015. Shard Photo: Henry Reichhold

A Cruise in the Company of… Iain Sinclair, Laura Bear & Nathalie Cohen
Tues 15 Sep, 7pm (boarding at 6.45pm) – 9pm
Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JH

Travelling by boat from Westminster to Greenwich we will explore the historical depths linking the two great rivers; the intermingling currents of their fates; and their sacred qualities for the people who live along them. This meeting of the rivers will be led by the anthropologist and film-maker Laura Bear in conversation with psychogeographer Iain Sinclair and archaeologist Nathalie Cohen.

On deck there will be an art installation of films made with people who live and work on the Hooghly (a tributary of the Ganges) by Laura Bear. As we travel down the river we will map the route at places that unexpectedly link the Thames and the Ganges and tell mythical and historical tales that create ‘ghats’ or gateways into new understandings of their connections.

This sacred river voyage will ultimately allow us to explore how rivers provide a medium for metaphors of regeneration, life, death, time and space.

Japan Sound Portrait by Nick Luscombe
Sat 15 August – Sunday 20 September / Free event

BBC Radio 3 Late Junction presenter and DJ Nick Luscombe will present a series of field recordings of Tokyo’s river overlaid with readings of haiku by Basho.

There are five different poems located at different points along the South Bank – you’ll see QR codes on the Rivers of The World exhibition boards located outside the National Theatre, in front of Tate Modern, by London City Pier and More London. To hear the poems simply scan the QR code and imagine being transported to the Sumida, all from the Thames riverside. Each Haiku is read first in Japanese, followed by the English translation. Enjoy!

A Mile in my Shoes
Riverside Gardens, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 2DU
Presented by the Empathy Museum

Every weekend throughout September, Riverside Gardens, Vauxhall A unique audio portrait of the riverside in Wandsworth, created with local residents and members of the community and presented as an interactive shoe-shop. Visitors will have the opportunity to literally walk in someone else’s shoes, whilst being immersed in a narrative of their life. Co-commissioned by Thames Festival Trust, A Mile in My Shoes is presented by The Empathy Museum and developed by artist Clare Patey and producer Kitty Ross with cultural thinker Roman Krznaric and In the Dark Radio.

Urban Tales #2: The Lighthouse
Wed 23 Sept, 7pm – 10pm
Trinity Buoy Wharf – 64 Orchard Pl, London E14 0JY

Urban Tales are a series of cultural experiences showcasing artists from all disciplines in unexpected locations. In this second episode, visitors will be invited to an innovative contemporary opera experience in Trinity Buoy Wharf, London’s only lighthouse.

The show ‘Folie à Deux’, presented by Mahogany Opera Group, includes groundbreaking lighting technology and electro-magnetic harp. Part staged performance, part concept album, the piece is a collaboration between award-winning British composer Emily Hall and Icelandic writer and long-time Bjork collaborator Sjon. After the performance, the audience will enjoy an interactive musical finale.

This river-inspired cultural journey will start with a boat ride from Central London to Trinity Buoy Wharf and offer an opportunity to enjoy unrivalled views of the Thames and rediscover the Docklands area. Expect refreshments and gourmet street food available on site, and a complimentary drink on arrival.

A free boat service to the Lighthouse will be available for all ticket holders. Departure from London bridge City Pier at 7pm.​

The premiere is a unique contemporary opera experience in Trinity Buoy Wharf,  London’s only lighthouse. This one-off performance of Folie a Deux by Mahogany Opera is presented by Unlimited.

Totally Thames 2015. South Bank East View. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

Totally Thames 2015. South Bank East View. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

Thames: Heart of London by Henry Reichhold
Mon 17 August – Wed 30 September 2015, Blackfriars Station opening times
London Blackfriars Thameslink Station, 179 Queen Victoria Street, SE1 9JH

Thames: Heart of London
 is a panoramic photographic exhibition that aims to capture the character of the Thames as it winds through the metropolis.

Totally Thames 2015. Photo Exhibition At Blackfriars Station. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

Totally Thames 2015. Photo Exhibition At Blackfriars Station. Photo: Henry Reichhold.

Taken from a series of high vantage points, including the Shard, City Hall, Oxo Tower Wharf, One Canada Square, South Bank Tower and the Houses of Parliament, these images also capture unique events when the river was centre stage to London life – from the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant to the fireworks celebrations for New Year’s Eve.

Each panoramic picture is made by combining up to a hundred individual images to create a final piece with exceptional detail and clarity to catch the mood and flavour of these startling vistas.

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