RiverRun

Artist commissions interrogating the environmental impact of the way the Dorset land is farmed, and the impact on the rivers and waters that feed Poole Bay.

One of the biggest challenges to the UK environment is the poor state of freshwater and the amplifying impact of climate change and farming practices on it. Wildlife in freshwater has declined at a faster rate than in other habitats and is particularly susceptible to climate change.

RiverRun is a three-year project that connects Cape Farewell’s scientific partners with local farmers and artists. The creative programme of research and development is designed to embrace and interrogate the complex issue of the poor state of freshwater, and aims to raise awareness of the magnitude and impact of the problem. 

The research and development phase will culminate in exhibitions, events and workshops in Autumn 2021, and we are delighted to be partnering with Durlston Country Park in Swanage and Lighthouse in Poole. We are also planning and an open call for six new south-west based artists to join the project as we further develop RiverRun through 2021 and 2022.

The RiverRun project has grown from recent studies by the scientist Antony Jensen at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, on the increased algae blooms that form in the summer in Poole Bay. These have a negative impact on wildlife, fish and human health, and proven links have been found with farm practice and food supply. Even organic food production has environmental impacts, witnessed by the algae blooms on the Sydling Water which runs past Cape Farewell’s HQ in Sydling St Nicholas and feeds into the Frome River, which, in turn, feeds into Poole Harbour. Cape Farewell wants this information to be part of our wider conversation about the relationship between food production and land use, water courses and the associated links to climate change.

wAteR-climaTe festival events

exhibition installation view

RiverRun Exhibition

Wed 3 Nov–Sat 4 Dec
RiverRun exhibition at Lighthouse Poole,
Tues–Sat 10am–9pm, free

About the festival

“a way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation…”

Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce

In August 2020, poet Helen Moore, performance artist Anna Frijstein, film-maker James Murray-White and lens-based artist David Buckland took part in a one week workshop at Cape Farewell’s HQ, The WaterShed. Over five days the four artists, plus Cape Farewell Trustee and Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Wendy Hollway, met with some of our scientific and farming partners, and immersed themselves in the science, farming, politics and culture of the Frome Valley, one of UK’s paramount chalk rivers.

Inspired by this pilot, the artists are being supported to continue interrogating the issues and produce works that respond to the science, finding narrative forms on a human scale that are accessible and pertinent to our daily lives and importantly to make something that reaches out to its audience. An Artwork.

Scientific Partners

  • Dr Simon Boxall – National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Dr Rasmus Lauridsen – Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • Prof Genoveva Esteban – Bournemouth University
  • Dr Antony Jensen – National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Dr John Murphy – Queen Mary University, London

Local Organic Farming Partners

  • Pam & Will Best – Manor Farm, Sydling St Nicholas
  • Chris Legg – Dollens Farm, Sydling St Nicholas

Meet the Artists

portrait

Helen Moore

Award-winning ecopoet, socially engaged artist and writer
portrait

Anna Frijstein

Artist whose practice evokes the bestial side of ‘socialised’ human beings
portrait

David Buckland

Artist, designer, film-maker, founder and international director of Cape Farewell

See also

wAteR-climaTe festival exhibition graphic

wAteR-climaTe festival

An inspiring festival bringing climate science to life – Lighthouse, Poole | 3–10 Nov 2021
spot-lit woman performing poetry

SIRENS

A unique take on the climate emergency

Skip links

  1. Top
  2. Skip to content top
  3. Skip to main menu
  4. Skip to search