THE festival has been curated in response to the Thames Estuary and the lives, landscapes and histories found there. A mix of large scale and intimate visual art, literature, music and film, it celebrates culture, creativity, recovery and renewal. Conceived to be enjoyed for free, outdoors and in a COVID-19 secure way, the festival invites visitors to take an epic walk along the stunning shorelines of South Essex and North Kent encountering contemporary artworks, storytelling and performance within the estuary’s landscape, historic sites and coastal towns.
Visitors to the multiple sites across Essex can:
ï Plan an estuary pub crawl to find specially made mirrors in five historic hostelries including the Crooked Billet in the picturesque fishing village of Old Leigh, Barge Gladys on the water at Benfleet Creek, Lobster Smack on Canvey Island, The White Lion at Fobbing and The Worlds End, Tilbury. Ruth Ewan, Mirrors for Princes
ï Experiment with microplastics using washing machines installed in Wat Tyler Country Park – find out how these tiny fibres make their way from our clothes to our waterways every time they’re washed and learn how to do simple experiments on your own clothes at home. Andy Freeman and Samantha Penn, Out to Dry
ï Go on a GPS treasure hunt around the Essex coast, using your phone to discover hidden geocaches – physical objects that will allow you to listen to specially recorded sound portraits unique to each location. Dot Dash, Sound Mirrors
ï Stand on an abandoned jetty beside the nineteenth century brick-built Experimental Casemate in Shoeburyness to view a 3m outdoor photography installation depicting the estuary’s waters. Nadav Kander, In The End Is The Beginning – Towards The Thames Estuary
ï Choose a seedling and go on an audio walk at Wat Tyler Country Park before deciding whether to plant and put down roots. Sonia Hughes, Jo Fong, Lisa Mattocks and Andrew Wrestle, Our Land
ï Experience a walk with 360 degree film in the landscape across six sites at Gunners Park, inspired by the cult classic nature book, JA Baker’s The Peregrine. Jack McNamara, Tremor at the Edge of Vision
ï Make sure you get your copy of the limited edition ‘multiple’ of the hand-drawn Thames Estuary Trail map by Adam Dant. Use it to find hidden gems, from unusual heritage sites to places to get creatively inspired. Adam Dant Estuary map available from estuaryfestival.com or Estuary 2021 hubs/venues.
ï Join a guided walk with the author of Thames Estuary Trail: A Walk Round the End of the World to find out about the history, people and hidden delights that can be found at this “unfashionable end of the Thames.” Tom King, Thames Estuary Trail