Seven must-see events at Totally Thames 2018


Saturday 1st - Saturday 29th September, 8am - 6pm.
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA

Known throughout history and in many different cultures, the act of offering ‘Votives’ into water often has connections with commemoration and remembrance; it was a ritual act centred on cleansing, engendering change and creating hope for the future. Votives were often given as a performance in uncertain times, or in thanks for relief of difficult times.

Alongside ceramic students from Morley College, the Associated Clay Workers Union will be producing work around the theme of votive offerings for an exhibition during Totally Thames, which will be displayed in the Lancelot Link cabinets at Southwark Cathedral. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to engage and reflect upon their own experiences of ritual and belief, as well as the role of the Thames as a ‘liquid hope’ where people once offered their Votives.


Tuesday 11th - Saturday 15 September, 12pm - 6pm. Sunday 16th September 12pm - 5pm.
Art Hub Studios, 5-9 Creekside, Deptford, SE8 4SA

‘Mudlark’ is the term used for someone who scavenges in river mud for items of value, and has been prominently used for those who have, throughout history, scavenged along the River Thames. This year, ‘Mudlark’ is also a still-life photography and historical artefact exhibition that will take place as part of Totally Thames, showcasing some of the discoveries that London’s most prolific Mudlarks have made along the riverbanks.

Photo: Matthew Goodsmith

With photography by Hannah Smiles, the exhibition includes both photographs and actual artefacts, both rare and historical – these range from Tudor pins to shells from World War II, medieval pottery to messages in bottles. As part of the exhibition, there will also be a series of talks by Mudlarks who will discuss the history of their finds, and why they are so passionate about this extraordinary pastime.

Drawing Dark Waters

Saturday 22nd September, 11am
Meeting point: Richmond Tube station, The Quadrant, TQ9 1EZ

Liz Charsley, Paul Debois and Caroline Underwood are three London-based artists working predominantly in black and white, responding to the Thames and creating artwork out of their explorations of the river. For Totally Thames, the three artists have been brought together for Drawing Dark Waters, a walking workshop that reacts to the Thames through drawing and photography.

The workshop is a ticketed event, and those participating are advised to bring a sketchbook, camera or their phone to explore the stretch of the Thames between Chiswick Bridge and Richmond Lock. The workshop will include demonstrations and discussions, inviting guests to observe the river views as they see them today – as well as what they were, and what they may become.

The Masque of Blackness

Thursday 27th - Saturday 29th September, 8pm - 11pm
National Theatre Flytower, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX

Inspired by elements of Joseph Conrad’s novella 'Heart of Darkness'  and Ben Jonson’s Jacobean masque (play) 'The Masque of Blackness', Epoh Beech’s animated film The Masque of Darkness examines the relationship between the Thames and West African rivers, in particular the Niger, Congo, Volta and Ankobra rivers. The film is being screened at Gallery 46 in East London, accompanied by an extensive series of drawings and sketches.

Image: Epoch Beech

As part of Totally Thames 2018, The Masque of Blackness will also be projected onto the National Theatre Flytower over three evenings, from the 27th – 29th of September. The captivating, hand drawn 12-minute film will be played on a loop, featuring an original musical score by by Esben Tjalve and choreography by Julia Gillespie.

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