What do we understand about this great piece of the natural landscape? - Its length, its Tidal, its trade routes, the fact that it’s used for two thirds of London’s recycled drinking water, its sustainability. What is the ecology of the River? We identify London by the snake like image of the Thames, often used for navigation. We look at the Charles Barry Houses of Parliament on the Great Thames; we see films using it as a backdrop, buildings destroyed with special effects suggesting how devastating this would be to our great community around the Thames. We are used to the pastoral Thames, Marlow, Benson (Tales from the River bank), we see” A river running through it”- its beginnings in the Cotswolds to its end in the North Sea. But what lies beneath this? The Thames from Sanskrit Tamas literally means dark; this suggests a whole new world of the Thames, its secrets!
Artists are communicators of concepts and ideas. This exhibition will explore the meaning of The Thames to contemporary life. We look at how Dickens, Handel, Monet all sought inspiration from the Thames, and contemporary artists such as Cristo wrapping up bridges. Both London Tate galleries are directly situated alongside the river. It suggests how we live the pace of modern life, how we move (around a major metropolis), its bridges, and how we move over and across and along the river as well as underneath it!
The exhibition seeks to explore themes other than the image of the Thames; we are delving into the psyche of a nation. The exhibition will explore what the Thames actually does for us as well as how we associate contemporary living with a river that has a life of its own.