Confluence: The River Speaks


Wandsworth Council presents: Confluence: The River Speaks


‘Confluence: The River Speaks’ is an exciting new participatory arts project that looks to engage residents who live along the River Wandle with its material, social and cultural history. The project, combining multiple art forms, will take place throughout September and October 2017 and lead to a permanent installation at the new Ram Quarter Heritage Centre (set to open in autumn 2018), whose site sits on the estuary of the River Wandle. Led by multi-disciplinary artist, curator and producer, Helen Frosi, the project takes inspiration from the myriad faceted aspects of the river Wandle delving into its character and history.

Nine bespoke workshops and recording sessions will take place in a range of locations along the River Wandle, to capture a story about the river’s 14km route from the spring source to the Thames. Frosi will be joined by a number of sound specialists and artists across the sessions; Lee Patterson, Sharon Gal, Ian Rawes and Jane Pitt. All activities will be hands-on and a chance to experiment with different techniques including: drawing and sketching, collecting, field recording, lino printing, listening, local history, material studies, natural history appreciation, poetry, photography, presentations, rambling, soundscapes, vocalisation and aesthetic movement. These workshops and recording sessions will then feed into a final permanent installation at Ram Quarter Heritage Centre.

‘Confluence: The River Speaks’ has been commissioned on behalf of Greenland Group, developer of The Ram Quarter, as part of an exciting arts programme curated by culture agency Futurecity in partnership with the Pump House Gallery. The project engages with the local community to explore the fascinating history of the River Wandle and the surrounding area. The project is supported by Wandsworth Council and Enable Leisure & Culture and Living Wandle Landscape Partnership. LWLP is an ambitious £2.4m programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund celebrating and promoting access to the River Wandle’s natural and built heritage.

All sessions are suitable for families* and are free to attend, booking is essential. *The exceptions are ‘Open Ears!’ and ‘The River Speaks’, which are suitable for people age 16+

Further information:

Workshops and Recording Sessions

The World is a Camera

Saturday 16 Sept 2017. 11-4pm (1-hour lunch) . Venue: TBC

Session lead: Helen Frosi. Session support: Stephan Barrett

A playful and inquisitive walk, collection session and workshop investigating the River Wandle and environs through digital and cameraless photography, led by artist Helen Frosi.

  1. Participants should bring their own cameras.


Open Ears!

Tues 19 Sept 2017 . 10am-4pm.Venue: TBC

Session lead: Lee Patterson. Session support: Helen Frosi/Stephan Barrett

A session on listening, led by sound artist Lee Patterson, exploring the sonic potential of materials and recording the sounds of local objects and features found at Morden Hall Park. In addition, Lee will demonstrate his unique hand-made sonic instruments!

  1. Participants should know how to operate a recording device.

The Sound Along the Stream

Sun 24 Sept 2017.1pm-4pm.Venue: TBC

Session lead: Sharon Ga. Session support: Helen Frosi/Stephan Barrett

Exploring the River Wandle through ideas of presence, flow and the dynamics of water, vocal artist Sharon Gal leads a session incorporating listening, responding and recording exercises. Voice and movement will be used to engage and interact with the environment and each other.


Drawing with Nature

Fri 29 Sept 2017. 12-5pm (1-hour lunch). Venue: TBC

Session lead: Helen Frosi. Session support: Stephan Barrett

Looking through the lens of the Wandle’s flora, this collecting session and workshop, led by artist Helen Frosi, focusses on visually documenting plants, shrubs and trees in alternative ways (including experimenting with natural inks from foraged fruits, berries and seeds)!


Lino and Light

Fri 06 Oct 2017. 1pm-4pm. Venue: TBC

Session lead: Helen Frosi. Session support: Stephan Barrett

A collection session and workshop designed to acquaint participant with the art of lino-cutting and printing. It is led by artist Helen Frosi and gives opportunity for the participants to take inspiration from the River Wandle, its flora, fauna and meteorological phenomena.


The River Speaks

Sun 15 Oct 2017.10am-all day (with breaks).Route: Earlsfield Rail Station to Morden Hall Park

Session lead: Ian Rawes. Session support: Helen Frosi/Stephan Barrett /James Bulley

A river walk and recording session – sound and photography – where participants are encouraged to look and listen out for hidden histories as well as to share their own experiences of living working and playing by the River Wandle. Led by field recordist, Ian Rawes.


Materials and Memory

Sun 21 Oct 201.11-4pm (1-hour lunch).Venue: TBC

Session lead: Helen Frosi. Session support: Stephan Barrett /James Bulley

A drawing and writing session investigates the sensory nature and pleasures of the River Wandle, led by artist Helen Frosi. Participants will also have the opportunity to create an aide memoire in the form of a “journey stick” from items they have collected in situ.



Fri 27 Oct 2017.12-3pm.Venue: TBC

Session lead: Jane Pitt. Session support: Helen Frosi/Stephan Barrett

Artist Jane Pitt, will lead a walking field-recording session that will bring participants into contact with birds and other creatures that live and breed along the river predominantly through focused listening, vocalisations, and writing about what is seen and heard in the undergrowth.

  1. Participants should know how to operate a recording device.


The Poetics of the Wandle

Sun 29 Oct 2017.12-3pm.Venue: TBC

Session lead: Helen Frosi. Session support: Stephan Barrett/James Bulley

An experimental poetry workshop, led by artist Helen Frosi, looking at the Wandle’s waters for material and inspiration and utilising a variety of experimental strategies to create work – from automatic writing and cut up techniques to erasure and folding techniques.


Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ. Telephone 020 8871 7572. Email: Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday between exhibitions. Admission free. For more information see for follow us on twitter @PumpHouseGal.


Pump House Gallery is a public contemporary exhibition space housed in a distinctive four story Grade ll* listed Victorian tower by the lake in Battersea Park. The pump house tower was built in 1861 to contain a coal-fired steam engine house, water pump and cast iron tank to feed water from the Thames to an artificial rock cascade in the nearby lake and water plants in the Park. After a fire in the 1950s, which destroyed the windows and the original roof, the building fell into disrepair and eventually became derelict. In 1988 Wandsworth Council renovated the building and re-opened it as an interpretation centre. Following further development the building became Pump House Gallery in 1999, presenting a year round programme of contemporary visual art. Collaboration and participation are at the heart of its programme. Pump House Gallery has presented a year-round programme of contemporary visual art, including most recently, Developer, a site-specific installation in the Battersea Park Mirror pools by Samara Scott, and Each fighting its own little battle in happy ignorance, a group exhibition based on the Graham Greene novel It’s a Battlefield in 2016. The gallery is operated by Enable Leisure & Culture on behalf of Wandsworth Council.


Battersea Park is a 200 acre, Grade ll* listed Victorian park formally opened in 1858, one of many intended to improve living conditions for those living in the city. During both wars, the park was utilized by the military to protect London, shelters were dug, allotments were created and a pig farm was set up. After the Second World War in 1951, thirty-seven acres were developed to form the Festival Pleasure Gardens. In 1986 when Wandsworth Council became responsible for the park, there were serious signs of neglect and much needed improvements restored and recreated the most significant Victorian and Festival features. In 2011 the Winter Garden designed by Dan Pearson was opened.


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